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Glen reviews six episodes of "Crusade" ((5-31-99: now slightly adjusted for clarity)) !!!


Glen here...

...with a review of the Babylon 5 spin-off series, Crusade.

Now, I want to be perfectly clear here: I HAVEN'T SEEN ALL EPISODES OF CRUSADE. All of the sweeping assertions I make below are based on having seen six episodes of the series, and having read the script for three more past that. That's a good familiarity with nine out of thirteen episodes - and gives me a good basis from which to speak.

None the less, there could be some real gems within the four episodes with which I am unfamiliar: so I encourage none of you to pass final judgment on Crusade based simply on what I discuss herein. Watch for yourself. Watch all of it. Then decide for yourself. Give it a chance.

For those who do not know: Crusade is the spinoff to a TV series called Babylon 5 . Crusade was being produced by a network called TNT, who began pressuring the makers of Crusade to dramatically change the series about five episodes into the show's production. A production shutdown occurred. There were a series of controversial standoffs...production resumed...but filming on the show was ultimately halted after episode 13 (the series was supposed to have 22 episodes for its first season).

Unless the show generates gigantic ratings, TNT is not interested in resuming production on the show. There has been considerable talk regarding Crusade moving to another network (most probably the Sci Fi Channel), but this is a dubious proposition (still a feasible notion, however - but there are many factors against it). And that brings us to this report:

In attempting to summarize my feelings on the series based on six final cut episodes ("The War Zone", "Racing the Night", "The Path of Sorrows", "The Well of Forever", "The Long Road", and "Patterns of the Soul"), I kept thinking of all the questions I have received about this series over the last few months.

As such, I'm presenting this review not as a stand-alone essay (as I usually do) - but as a series of questions, with my answers being as concise and pointed as possible. Seemed the best way to organize such a a whopping amount of information.

This approach is something of an experiment - hope it works. Here we go:


THE CHARACTERS - do they work?

Some do, some do not.

The usually uber-cool GARY COLE seems oddly out of place in this series. As Matthew Gideon, he's not supposed to be a super-Commander - he's supposed to be bearing the weight of the world and just doing his best to get by. But in Crusade, Cole comes across neither as a commander or Job - he's just a guy trying to get a mission done, who sometimes seems vaguely disinterested in what he's trying to accomplish. This doesn't bring depth to his personality, or gravity to the responsibility the Gideon character holds with his job.

Most of the substance Cole brings to his character comes from the audience's memory of Cole from Midnight Caller and American Gothic. Gideon - as drawn in the epsides I've seen so far - is in many ways a non-entity.

PETER WOODWARD as Galen the Technomage. Very much alive and vibrant, sometimes maybe even a little too much so (there are a few moments when he could have been a tad more understated). Woodward can take even the most mundane line and turn it into something of cosmic significance (I'd die to hear him say something to the effect of: "I've got to go wee wee now, Matthew!" - it would boom forth as being religiously consequential, and funny as hell). But he's good - and his eyes convey a range of emotion and duality for which words can not do justice.

DANIEL DAE KIM as John Matheson: former PsyCorp stoogie who broke into the real world work force after the collapse of the Corps a few years before this series takes place. Kim exudes oodles of coolness as Matheson. He's always on top of things, seems about ten steps ahead of the rest of the cast. Offering-up a rather understated performance, Kim is what I call a presence actor. I.E. someone who doesn't do anything particularly quantifiable on-screen, but just has a feel that is right - and a positive influence over the quality of the whole.

DAVID ALLEN BROOKS as Max Eilerson. Feels like a bitter used car salesman, or a really annoying in-law who just won't get lost.

Basically annoying across the board, the character is neither accessible or sympathetic throughout many of the episodes I've seen. It is also with Eilerson that many of the writing shortcomings raise their ugly heads: he's either not delivering his frequently long-winded lines right, or the lines should not have been given to him to begin with.

It should be noted herein that a few of the Crusade scripts I've read spin Eilerson as a substantially more dimensional character - and someone with more redeeming qualities - than are evident in the episodes I've seen. Since I haven't seen all the episodes (to see how this is pulled off dramatically), I can only conjecture that Eilerson could well be someone that could grow on the audience over time.

MARJEAN HOLDEN as Dr. Sarah Chambers. Attractive in a cute librarian sort of way, Holden is thoroughly unconvincing as the chief medical officer / researcher on Excalibur. One episode ("Each Night I Dream of Home" - for which I've only seen a rough cut) features Holden in many scenes with original B5 doctor Steven Franklin (Richard Biggs). While this criticism isn't entirely fair given Bigg's well honed familiarity with the Babylonian universe, these sequences go a long way towards accentuating how uncompelling the Chambers character really is. Little depth, little sense of who she is...what she's all about...or even what her capabilities are.

She may someday be the person who develops the cure of the dreaded woofus which is plaguing Earth - yet she is completely unknown to us. Perhaps this is because not enough attention was paid to her character from the outset. Perhaps Holden simply can not convey the natural, subliminal depth which is required to make a character memorable. Perhaps there was a deliberate decision made somewhere along the line not to have a "memorable ship's doctor" a-la Star Trek.

Either way...by the very nature of her position and responsibility on the show...she is an integral character who will be little more than a pleasant stranger to us by the time Crusade's initial 13 episode run expires.


CARRIE DOBRO as the cat-eyed Dureena Nafeel. Dureena quickly emerges as one of the main triumvirate of crew members (alongside Galen and Gideon). Dobro successfully walks a very dangerous line in Crusade - on shows like this there is always an immediate danger when introducing butt-kicking female characters. There's a danger of the character falling into a one-dimensional "warrior queen" motif; a danger of the character falling into the "I'm butch - and that validates my femininity" school of thought; a danger that being stand-offish and pushy somehow will morph into a statement about female equality. It is one of the oldest traps in the history of SF, but Crusade manages to avoid it nicely.

Much like Woodward's Galen, Dureena is...quite simply...a lost soul - and Dobro makes us believe that. For all of her bravado and "in your face" retorts, she is a person who has feelings, emotion, hopes, fears, loves, hates, and just wants to belong. She is an accessible character who could shine brightly if the show is given a chance to progress. She is also the kind of chick a guy would love to take out on a date - 'twould be a rush seeing what kind of trouble Dureena could get herself into when you least expect it.

TRACY SCOGGINS: reprising her Elizabeth Lochley from Babylon 5. You don't see her in the series as much as you'd expect given her second billing in the opening title sequence. She's the same old Lochley - always a character I rather enjoyed, due in no small part to the fact I've had a crush on her since meeting her in Dallas last year.

Seriously though, I've always felt she was quite good in the Lochley role, and seeing her in Crusade provides a certain level of familiarity and comfort - elements TNT apparently tried to quash by encouraging Straczynski and Co. to distance this show from too many associations with B5.

Lochley seems smitten with Gideon, they're a fun enough couple whose relationship could be interesting in the future.

All in all: Kim, Doboro, and Woodward go a long way to grounding the cast with a level of accessibility and believability which might not exist without there presence. Perhaps one reason the show is...as indicated above...so uninvolving is due to the fact the three share so much screen time with character who simply do not resonate. After all, this is science fiction. If the audience doesn't believe the people on screen actually believe what they're doing and saying - then effective storytelling becomes difficult at best.


Which CRUSADE episodes have I seen ?

"The War Zone" - Earth is attacked by an alien species called the Drakh, which unleash a plague on our planet. Five year incubation rate before the plague ups and destroys every living thing on Earth. A spaceship...the Excalibur...is manned, and dispatched into deep space - where it is believed a cure to the plague can be found.

"The War Zone" more closely reflects TNT's vision of what Crusade should be. The episode was filmed after the initial shut-down mentioned above, during which money and time were heaped onto the series in an effort to make the show look and feel better.

Indeed, the look of Crusade post "TNT changes" is dramatically improved over the original appearance of the show. The black uniforms are spiffier, the sets are more complex and sophisticated in appearance than later in the series (when the original look of the show will be seen).

But for all the visual realignment and texturing, "The War Zone" doesn't pull the audience into its story. This was, ironically, the intent of the episode - as TNT wanted a more traditional "introductory episode" which would enable viewers to become accustomed to the setting and cast of the series. The original series opener, "Racing the Night", simply jumped right into a story in mid-stream.

When all was said and done, neither opening episode is particularly effective. They are poorly paced and may be rather off-putting to virginal viewers who are tuning in to the show just to see what it's all about.

"Racing the Night" - originally the first episode of the series, pushed deeper into the series when TNT decided they wanted a new, introductory first episode for Crusade. The Excalibur encounters a dead world and an abandoned city. Turns out, the people on this world have encountered the same plague Earth now faces, and have developed some questionable ethics in their effort to find their own cure.

Much like "The War Zone", "Racing" is alienating and awkward. A few nice moments between Gideon and Galen endow the episode with some much-needed heart; many of the planet-based FX border on cheesy. Difficult to imagine someone getting "hooked" by this episode.

"The Long Road" - Excalibur is called to a hot-spot where colonists on a planet are falling ill due to Terran mining efforts which extract material aiding in the development of a Drakh plague vaccine. Edward Woodward guest stars as an outcast Technomage (a Babylon 5 race which simulates the effects of magic through technology and science) who leads the colonists in their standoff.

Talky and a tad slow, with a few nice moments between the Woodwards. A Technomage-generated apparition (meant to terrify travellers) looks like a Disney sing-along character, the FX people dropping the ball yet again.

"The Well of Forever" - the Excalibur goes on a trip to a mysterious place known as The Well of Forever, which exists somewhere in hyperspace. a) The world looks like a big pretzel; b) Excalibur gets humped from behind by a giant space creature; c) one of the characters (with a past in a Nazi-like organization of telepaths called Psy Corps) gets violated by an operative of the organization - who shows up to test the character's loyalty and commitment to not intruding on other people's privacy with his telepathic powers. Guest stars Michael Beck (The Warriors).

"Well" is an interesting premise predicated on one fundamental flaw: when all is said and done, the potency of the story hinges on both a series of anti-climaxes. As such, it fizzles. It's got one sweet element and idea, but the promise of how the journey to The Well of Souls might profoundly affect our main characters (something Galen promises will be the case) is never fulfilled - and only passingly addressed by Galen after the fact.

Awkward blocking of FX sequences at The Well diminish the magic of being there: protracted waist-up shots of Galen surveying the surrounding feel very much like a weatherman standing in front of a green screen. Awkward.

A premise in need of better execution.

"Patterns of the Soul" - Excalibur is sent to fetch colonists believed to be infected with the plague before they can spread the disease to other planets; Dureena discovers she's not the last of her kind.

Excellent performance by guest star Brian Thompson, well written by Fiona Avery and strongly directed by Tony Dow. The first of two episodes which really begin to demonstrate Crusade's overall potential, the other being:

"The Path of Sorrows" - Excalibur recovers an abandoned creature on a deserted world, but in doing so are forced to re-live their most painful memories and fears. Guest stars Garry Graham (AlienNation TV series).


As a whole, IS THE SHOW GOOD?

The quality of Crusade is wildly variable.

Many of the episodes feel awkwardly paced and are peculiarly unengaging - depsite having basically interesting premises. Sometimes this is a product of the writing - through many of the episodes there is a sense that Babylon 5 / Crusade creator J. Michael Straczynski is working so hard to have his work feel Straczynskian that the end product often feels disingenuous or imitative.

I level much of the blame for the show's lifelessness towards the post-production arena: the editing of these episodes often seems too loose: many of these episodes would benefit greatly from a tightness, crispness, and "pop" which simply is not evident either photographically or editorially.

There also seems to be either a lack of coverage - or non utilization of coverage - on several occasions throughout the episodes: there were many moments I felt a need to cut away to someone's reaction, but such a shot simply was not there ((Glen Note: "coverage" is a quantity of footage...filmed from many different angles...which can be used to build a scene in editing - .i.e. reaction shots, close-ups, etc.))

This gives many episodes a slightly cumbersome feel - and often goes a long way to diminish the sense of urgency and "oomph" which so often made Babylon 5 so addictively compelling. In itself, this feeling is wholly incongruous with the idea that we're on a mission to save the Earth, and are under a hard deadline. In turn, this creates a certain "who cares" quality to many of the proceedings.

There are moments in which Crusade shines: most notably in "The Path of Sorrows" (written by Straczynski, directed by Michael Vejar). There is a sense of style and connectivity here between writing, execution, and performance which...more than any of the other episodes...strongly indicates Crusade could well work if it somehow manages to survive the TNT imposed apocalypse it now faces.

Alas, the other episodes seen do not accomplish this. While BY NO MEANS DO I ENDORCE TNT'S HANDLING OF THIS SHOW, a few of the episodes did prompt me to actually see this series from the network's point of view. In other words - given the odd pacing and generally uneven feel of many of these episodes - I was able to step back and see why TNT would want to spunk it up a little. Honestly, I have to believe their desire to breathe passion into the show was probably more correct than not . It's how TNT wanted to go about doing so that is the problem:

Crusade doesn't need more sex or Aaron Spelling melodrama. Beautiful people and compromising situations are not required to make this series work. The problem with Crusade isn't in its essence- it's in the show's execution. That's a difficult delineation to make, and an even more slippery beast to tame. Knowing what I know of network executives and the way many of them think, it's easy to see why TNT felt the show needed fixing in some way, but it's also easy to see why their lack of familiarity with (and understanding of) the genre lead them to make the wrong conclusions - and approach the show's shortcomings in a roundly improper manner.


How are the VISUAL EFFECTS ?

Very uneven.

Some of the space-based effects are quite effective and striking, although there is a bizarre paradox manifested in many of the show's effects sequences.

If I understand correctly, Crusade is employing software which lends a certain "photo realistic" quality to its CGI effects. This results in various zooms, camera moves, pans, and a depth-of-focus that gives one the feeling they are actually loking at a model instead of a CGI construct.

While these efforts have resulted in some interesting visual dynamics, I think they have backfired to some extent: with all of the "photo realism" being dumped into the CGI , ships often look like shoddy miniatures on wires. In fact, they are focused (and move) very much like miniature planes in a Japanese Godzilla movie. This doesn't mean you can literally see wires, or anything like that. But there's a certain unconvincing "smallness" to some of the craft - which serves to rather sharply pull the viewer out of the moment.

Rendering of planetscapes is generally marginal to poor. The abandoned city in "Racing the Night" looks no better than a "cut scene" (a segue scene between game play levels) from a Playstation or Nintendo 64 video game. Some planet shots on "The War Zone" stick out like a sore thumb.

There are moments of wrenchingly ineffective CGI Drakh in "The War Zone", which evoke the old Land of the Lost days of Sid and Marty Kroft. In the same episode, you will see some of the dumbest make-up to come your way since the geniuses at Star Trek decided every alien race in the universe is in need of a nose job - there are some Drakh warriors in the episode that are just plain bad looking. I'll just let you check these guys out for yourself. I can't imagine the silliness of these dudes weren't detected on-set: perhaps by the time The Powers That Be realized they simply were not going to work, it was too late to turn back. But, ouch.

A lot of hype went into selling Crusade's visual effects as being "next level" - with virtual sets and a capacity to have a wider variety of wild and exciting settings. While the FX in Crusade are numerous, they don't go a long way towards convincing viewers that we've jumped onto a new level of attainment. In fact, I'm not entirely convinced the FX in Crusade outclass even the fifth season of Babylon 5, or Crusade's TV launch movie, "A Call to Arms".

Some of Crusade's FX simply suck. Most are okay - and a a few of them are magnificent (further accentuating the let-down of the FX which don't work). Rarely do they equal or surpass the quality of its progenitor series. A statement which can be also made about Crusade as a whole.


Does Evan Chen's MUSIC get any better than it was in "A Call to Arms" ?

If you're a Babylon 5 fan, you're probably aware of the firestorm of criticism and controversy surrounding the replacement of long-time B5 composer Christopher Franke with Evan Chen.

Many people did not like Chen's music in the Crusade launch movie "A Call to Arms". In fact, many people hated it. Chen's music in the series varies from inoffensive to thoroughly intrusive. In some of the earlier episodes (early as in shot and assembled, they in fact will be aired later in the episode rotation), it is clear Chen simply doesn't know when to shut the hell up - he is constantly inserting his bizarre rhythmic tonalities into sequences which would have been best served by silence or subtlety.

In Chen's defense, I would have to say that the assertions recently made by Straczynski on various Internet venues are correct: I agree with him that Chen's music was indeed improving as the series went on. Whether this was simply Chen maturing as a composer, or someone in the post production process actually figuring out how to use his score, remains to be seen.

I kind of like some of the ideas Chen is playing with: tonalities and instrumentalities which sometimes create a surreal or disquieting sensation very similar to Bebe and Louis Barron's score for Forbidden Planet. None the less, it's hit and miss for the most part- with definite signs of improvement spread throughout.


Since TNT only produced 13 episodes (even though they were contractually obligated to produce 22) - WILL CRUSADE CONTINUE ELSEWHERE ?

It could, but don't count on it. Many factors are against it, but there are always...possibilities.


Does Crusade DESERVE TO LAST ?

I must confess being disappointed by Crusade. On the one hand, it's a series which is completely different from its predecessor - so expecting it to have the same defined personality is rather unreasonable. Reversely, based on these six episodes, I can find no discernible (organic) personality to Crusade - and believe many viewers may have trouble finding elements to wrap their hearts and brains around.

I understand that most series require a certain amount of time to reach their full potential - but I had somehow hoped Crusade would be immune to this phenomenon.

Why?

Firstly, I was hoping Babylonian Production's time-tested production formula would result in more consistent programming. This was not the case.

Also, it is my belief that Crusade needed to kick-ass right out of the gate to maximize the potential of it running beyond the 13 episodes now in the can. It does not kick ass, and the fact that it doesn't may well be the death knell for a series which might someday have achieved a greatness not always evident in the show's opening episodes.

Crusade is a show that could have worked better than it did. It is a show which still has many stories to tell, and vast room for improvement, enhancement, and excitement. There are many conceptual threads the show could still explore - I understand the 14th episode of the series would have introduced viewers to the fabled Straczynski "story arc" which would have been a driving concept for many future episodes. I do not know what this arc is, by the way.

Crusade should still be allowed to happen - but only if it is re-approached. While many of these initial installments seem lackluster and peculiar, Crusade does have innate potential. So, I see possibilities in the series, but I'm not sure the show's complexion and chemistry would be entirely healthy if left as is. As such: if the show goes on, I think it would benefit tremendously from quite a few changes. But what I think about the future doesn't matter right now, as such concerns are irrelevant if the show has no future.

While I feel Crusade (as is) has many shortcomings, the greatest frustration in Crusade's possible demise is that we might not be allowed to experience the series further: to ascertain over the long run whether the show is simply a concept which resists solid telling, or the product of an over-extended imagination in need of regrouping and regeneration. Both are intriguing mysteries.

There is a grand irony in all of Crusade's recent misadventures: its treatment by TNT is the kind of treatment usually afforded higher profile series on major networks: the series'summary dismissal by a network which previously claimed to support it; execs making all the wrong moves while trying to "fix" something (resulting in flying the project into the ground); the sudden turnaround in the network's commitment to the series. This being so, it might genuinely be said that Babylon 5 has "arrived". It's now "real" - and is facing "real" issues pertaining to its very survival. B5 is not just the obscure "little show that could" anymore. It's a show being subjected to the same hell so many other productions go through.

For my money Babylon 5 and Crusade were killed as soon as Joe Straczynski and his gang embraced the very powers their production company stood against for so long. I am not blaming him, I am not calling them sell-outs, I'm not even saying Babylonian and Warner Brothers did the wrong thing by trying to keep their product on the air by moving to TNT. But for all intents and purposes, the shows were...simply...beaten down by an unfriendly and illogical corporate system the likes of which B5 had not previously faced - the mentality and system which murdered so many series before Crusade, and will continue to do so for a long time to come.

All of these ugly politics kind of makes one miss the golden days of B5: when rogue producers were out to make their little show - no matter what the cost; when impassioned fans sweated out renewal season by season & battled the local TV stations which constantly threatened to drop the series; when a little show called Babylon 5 was one of the strangest, deepest, most inventive shows on television.

Yes, these network machinations do make one miss the good old days of B5. Its disappointing spin-off does as well...


CRUSADE debuts the evening of Wednesday June 9th on TNT. Its premiere will be preceded by replays of several BABYLON 5 TV movies, including the CRUSADE launch film, "A Call to Arms".


________________________


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Readers Talkback
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  • May 30, 1999, 11:13 p.m. CST

    Random thoughts

    by Ranger1138

    I am not sure about this report since I have seen the eps for myself but....By you watching them in one sitting gives you a heavy advantage. Also, it is hard to judge a series fairly that has evolved into two distinct personalityes. If you remember, it took STNG three seasons to finally hit it's stride and some would say that it's first 13 sucked too. I think you are too close to this one my friend. You need to relax. We all know that this one is going to have a tough time ahead. Plus, you realize that their is a market outside the US? Viper, Baywatch and V.I.P. are not great television but they do well in the world market. B5 came out of JMS"s love for "Blake's 7" and other British sci fi so it is only natural that it rubs against the grain of the normal diet of the American viewer. Let's let the shows air and let the fans decide for themselves and maybe you guys at AICN need a vacation away from all media for awhile.

  • May 30, 1999, 11:44 p.m. CST

    Re:Random thoughts ((from COAXIAL))

    by coaxial

    RANGER: what the *hell* are you talking about? If I were "too close" to the project, I'd be defending the show to my dying breath!!! Given the extensive coverage CRUSADE has enjoyed on Coaxial in the last year, and my openly expressed love for BABYLON 5, one would think a rave review from me would be a certainty, wouldn't one? So, how do you correlate my relatively negative review with being too close to the project? BTW - read the article again - carefully: 1) I pointedly address the need to give series TIME TO DEVELOP; and 2) I encouraged EVERYONE to watch *all* of CRUSADE, and pass their own judgement about the show. Why are you presenting these suggestions as if you have just thought of them? In your response to my article, you seemed to either ignore...or are affraid to consider...one critical component: the notion that perhaps the series simply isn't as good as you want it to be.**Glen**

  • May 31, 1999, 2:04 a.m. CST

    One helluva review, Glen. A lesson here?

    by Alexandra DuPont

    Damn, Glen. That was some "Crusade" review. In-depth, funny, harsh, depressing and fearless -- nice work. It's what David Foster Wallace might write were he a "B5" obsessive. I'll shove my nose in one inch further and say it's one of the best things I've ever read at this site, actually. In fact, there may be a lesson here, if I may go off for a second: IT WOULDN'T HURT CERTAIN OTHER REVIEWERS AT THIS SITE TO WRITE SOMETHING THIS NUANCED AND FEARLESS ABOUT CERTAIN other LARGE-SCALE, MEGA-ANTICIPATED SCI-FI/FANTASY PROJECTS THAT DISAPPOINTED. (And no, I'm not talking about "Tron." Which rocks, incidentally.) Ahem. Back to you.

  • May 31, 1999, 5:11 a.m. CST

    The little show that did.

    by Ian_in_London_UK

    Thanks for the review Glen, I guess, with or without the TNT situation, Crusade always had a big hill to climb - and a lot to live up to. B5 was the little show that did - and did and did and did. However, I've found the other spin-off stuff pretty variable, and as for some of the crap merchandise! TV Movies: 'ITB' was ok - but only that, '3rdspace' was lacking something (plot and a climax perhaps - Did JMS an off week or what?) and 'River' I quite enjoyed - but it wasn't outstanding. We get ACtA in July - on video release schedule from hell! Thought...maybe spin-off's for B5 aren't such a good idea? Look at the state Trek has got itself into these days. I've enjoyed the B5 ride, but am also happy to get off the rollercoaster now. When Crusade airs over here I'll watch with interest and an open mind - but I must say one of B5's attractions was that defining structure, a main story arc with start, middle and end. Perhaps it was not the ending everyone wanted but it was always going to end, it DID end. Like a good book, you can go back re-read whenever you want, perhaps see something new in it - but it has ended. I'm happy to let go. Anyway, I'm off to get into Buffy, IMHO Charisma Carpenter is far cuter than Jerry Doyle.

  • May 31, 1999, 5:41 a.m. CST

    Kudos and a thought

    by Savant

    I want to second the praise for the writing in this review. Glenn, you outdid yourself. You left no element unturned or unaddressed. And thanks for explaining "coverage"! Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Crusade go back to a longer production schedule than Season 5? Here's a thought from reading some of the executional problems cited...during the course of B5, I read many a production story in the mags which cited John Flinn, the director of photography, as being the glue who held the production together. Many directors noted how essential he was in introducing and guiding them through the series. John was dismissed because JMS said he was looking at the new look. I can't tell whether the "new look" was achieved, but perhaps Flinn's presence was more valuable that just "the look" he provided. Just a thought. Another oddity about this production: At Gallifrey JMS said there was no blooper reel for Crusade because the cast was so serious.

  • May 31, 1999, 6:59 a.m. CST

    Crusade in Europe

    by Ravenid

    Despite Crusade being sold as a "Limited Run" series. It has already been picked in Europe by SKY One. Now these guys dont have the best record for showing sci-fi, (They dropped Buffy for Americas Dumbest Criminals). But they do try and support sci-fi. They had Dark Skies, First Wave, Stargate SG-1 and Earth:Final Conflict when they were still in their first series in America. But if even before Crusade has been screened Networks are picking it up shows that it could have a future. Oh about the dogdy CGI, look back to the first few series of TNG. The CGI was washy even then. If Crusade gets the chance to grow, (lets hope it does), then the CGI will grow with it.

  • May 31, 1999, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Don't Blame TNT!

    by Lord_Darth

    I have read a lot of articles about CRUSADE and seen 1 episode War Zone. Everyone of the articles I have read make Crusade look like a pile of crap and the episode I have seen was crap. Everyone has been blaming TNT for this crap. It seems to me that TNT was just trying to get there money's worth for the series. JMS has dropped the ball and it's noone elses fault but his. The CGI was awful the characters with the exception to 2 were poor. People seem to think cause a first year series of TNG had poor cgi this would be ok but think again that was 10-12 years ago things should be much better.

  • May 31, 1999, 8:43 a.m. CST

    Keep in mind....

    by Jacob Corbin

    When I was reading Glen's comments, I kept flashing back to the halcyon days of B5 (which have been *seriously* over-romanticized by numerous people, including the reviewers here) when I was reading interviews in Starlog and TV Guide with some weirdo named Straczinski, who kept talking about how his new show would revolutionize TeeVee skiffy...and the disappointment I felt when I tuned in to the first few B5 eps only to discover that they were unabashedly lame. The first half of B5's first season is neck-and-neck IMO with the first half of the fifth season for having the highest concentration of unwatchable episodes. You want to talk about grating performances or unengaging characters? Look at Claudia Christian's zombielike performance in S1, or the cartoonishly idiotic early Londo, or G'Kar back when he appeared to be channeling Snidely Whiplash. Yet it got a second chance, and on a much slimmer footing than "Crusade"--even assuming that all Glen's comments are right-on-- appears to have.

  • May 31, 1999, 8:59 a.m. CST

    Huh?

    by MikeMayket

    Now go back and pick six of the first thirteen episodes of Babylon 5 at random and watch those pretending yo have not seen all five years and review the entire series of Babylon 5 for me the way you did Crusade. You appear to be making an awful lot of assumptions of what the entire series would ave been like from a little taste of the beginning. You made mention more then once of how Crusade just isn't as addictive as Babylon 5. Yet when talking about B5 I have a funny feeling you are not talking about "Infection", "Born to the Purple", "The War Prayer", or "Believers". In fact given your current familarity with JMS, your Crusade review as poor as it is overall is probably more favorable then your review of Babylon 5 would be if you had only 6 early episodes out of the entire 110 hour run to go by and had not further knowledge of the show.

  • May 31, 1999, 9:06 a.m. CST

    ...

    by MikeMayket

  • May 31, 1999, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Re: huh ((rom COAXIAL))

    by coaxial

    SOMEONE wrote: "your Crusade review as poor as it is overall is probably more favorable then your review of Babylon 5 would be if you had only 6 early episodes out of the entire 110 hour run to go by and had not further knowledge of the show." Good idea, but actually it's incorrect. I *felt* BABYLON 5 from very early on - I understood its sensibilities, atmosphere, and felt the show had great potential. I believe CRUSADE has the same potential, but the show itself is not as inherently engaging or promising as its predecessor had suggested after six episodes. So, it's not an issue of seeing it "out of context' with thee whole.**Glen**

  • May 31, 1999, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Oops

    by MikeMayket

    Hit enter instead of tab. I just wanted to say that I do understand the precarious position that Crusade is in, and wish as much as anyone that the first thirteen episodes were excellent. I understand that Crusade very probably will never get the chance to live up to it's potential. I'm just saying that like B5 before it I'm guessing that the full potential is probably impossible to judge from the first thirteen episodes. To the person above who said that at least B5 had a definite ending, so does Crusade. We will just more then likely never see it.

  • May 31, 1999, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Wow that was fast

    by MikeMayket

    Don't want to seem like I'm hogging the Talkback, but wow you responded to my message fast. Well if that's true then your Crusade review saddens me even more then it did when I read it. I obviously am going to watch all thirteen as they play and will draw my own conclusions, but... Babylon 5 is my favorite television series. One of the only two shows I've ever taped for prosperity (The Ben Stiller show being the other). I, however came to B5 with Bruce Boxleitner, and as much as I love the show, and enjoyed seeing how things were originally set up when I finally saw season 1 on TNT, when I did finally see season 1 I thanked god I had started watching the show with season 2. There's a fair chance from many of those early episodes that if I had watched the show I would have never watched B5 again, and missed out on one of the better things I have ever seen. Man I hope Crusade gets picked up for year 2.

  • May 31, 1999, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Well, it's not the end of the world

    by Drath

    JMS said that he would be experimenting in this new series. I'm sure it does seem a little off, TNT had to have had SOME legitimate fears. I for one didn't like the first several B5 episodes that much. I Glenn feels he knew B5 from the first episode...well that's how he felt. What moron implied that a review this nuanced should have gone to The Phantom Menace? Babylon 5 is a completely different experience from Star Wars. It's apples and oranges, they cannot be reviewed in the same nit-pick nuance scowered manner. Star Wars is mythical fantasy adventure. Yes there are some great phylosophical and psychological undercurrents. But B5 was busier and more crowded. It doesn't make one better than the other! Star Wars speaks to the kid in us, pity for you if your innder kid is picky now. Babylon 5 is for the intellectual dreamer in us. They are different, and if Star Wars disappointed you now, well too bad 'cause your tastes have changed and they'll never go back.

  • May 31, 1999, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Our last best hope...

    by Skript

    I think the show and the season need time. Of course you can say B5 is a time tested show but think of Star Trek they have always problems with new shows and this after 3 shows and a bunch of movies. So give Crusade time. In this way it is like Babylon 5. After Every B5 Season there was a great bunch of problems Straczynski and his gang (and the fans) had to resolve. After season 1 we "lost" Sinclair, after season 2 the show was cancelled for one week, after season 3 there was the terrible danger of cancelling the show which results in the shortening of the arc. And after season 4 there was the question: "what now". Babylon 5 had to redefine itself many times (especially in S5). It faces changes and the changes are not always good. Come on the show IS about changes. Straczynski himself said that they started slowly every year (perhaps except S4). Now there is a new problem on Babylon 5s way but I think even the bad episodes of B5 are still entertaining. You can watch them at least one time. As Glen said the Arc has not really started. Don

  • May 31, 1999, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Well...

    by Annie Reed

    I think the point that's being missed here is that there was more "promise" and "potential" in the early eps of B5 than there are in the same number of Crusade episodes, and that's unfortunate. Glen's review pointed to the potential that Crusade has, but the show may not get the chance to explore that potential. B5 was JMS's show - he had the freedom to work on the show to get it to the point where it realized it's promise. Crusade is not. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, because some of the changes suggested by TNT did improve overall quality. However, with the current "cancel it NOW!" atmosphere that is so pervasive in the industry, Crusade may not have the same chance B5 did. I'll be honest - I tried to get "into" B5 in its first season, but couldn't. After the strong nagging of friends, I did - in season 2, and found it a much more compelling show. I was glad that the show had been given the chance, and could see over time, that a lot of work had gone into it. I had the pleasure of viewing two of the Crusade episodes with Glen - "Racing the Night" and "Each Night I Dream of Home" and although I disagree with some of his comments and agree with others, I have to say that as a whole, he's right. There's a lot there, but it's not executed with the finesse that a show needs to succeed these days. TV just isn't what it was when B5 premiered. To quote what Bob Krimmer (Emperor Cartegia) told me at a recent convention - "These days you need to hit a home run right out of the gate." Right now, Crusade is a blooper to short that's still hanging in the air. Let's hope that the ball slips through somebody's glove, because there's a man on first waiting to race home.

  • May 31, 1999, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Um...

    by Jacob Corbin

    I'm still not quite sure how one can "feel the potential" of a show. When I giggled my way through "Infection", I wasn't saying to myself, "now here's a show with potential"--I was saying, "boy, this'd look good on MST3K." I think this is yet another example of the retroactive glossing-over that people have a funny way of doing. This is the way I look at it: out of the first 13 eps of B5, a certain number were crap and the rest were mediocre. All "Crusade" has to do to be better than B5 is to send me shrieking from the room one less time than its predecessor. And even if everything that's been said is true, I'm sure that it won't come to that.

  • May 31, 1999, 1:35 p.m. CST

    AMEN BROTHER! (and Sister)

    by Dolfanar

    Alexandra Dupont, your comment about a certain underwhelming sci-fi/fantasy film, was one of my first thoughts as well. I agree whole heartedly with Glenn: the decline of the Babylonian Empire was sealed when they were forced to join up with TNT. At the point that they did, Babylon 5 had just hit a major crescendo, and was as intense and TIGHTLY WRITTEN show that I have ever seen. Since then, we have had a superfluous 5th season (Of which Deconstruction of Falling stars, and the Fall of Centauri Prime were the ONLY payoffs, but would have been far better served being made into a TV movie, rather than subjecting us to "Thirdspace"), and a fairly satisfactory "In the Beginning". Bab5 was over after Sleeping in Light was filmed, JMS should have walked away right there, and made a clean break. I wonder if he regrets not doing so? I sincerly hope that JMS moves on and attacks fresh material, he is a talented writer, and should spread his wings a little. It is time to put B5 out to pasture, and it is time to look for a worthy successor... Diddo for the afformentioned, yet unnamed sci-fi/fantasy movie...

  • May 31, 1999, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Re: Um...

    by coaxial

    JACOB wrote: "I'm still not quite sure how one can 'feel the potential' of a show." GLEN says: Well, it's easy actually. You look at a show and say "While ___, ___, and ___ are flawed - the show has a potential to grow and expand upon ___, ___, ____ elements." I *did* feel that way about B5, but I think too many of the fundemental elelemnts in CRUSADE are flawed enough for me not to be so certain about it in the long run. The heart and soul and essence of CRUSADE don't seem to be "speaking" to people like B5 did. I've run this series past five of my closest associates on a local level - they all said exactly the same thing about the show without having discussed w/ others the project in advance. All were B5 fans, all found CRUSADE "lacking". None the less, I stongly encourage all of you to form your own opinions by watching every CRUSADE episode. For God's sake - just because I put something on the Net does not make it so.***Glen***

  • May 31, 1999, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Re: Um...

    by Dolfanar

    Well you bring up Infection, the first episode filmed, and easily the worst of the entire series, and yes it is bad, easily as bad as TNG in it's early seasons. And there were a few other stinkers, especially those filmed before finished episodes began to be put "in the can", and thus the cast and crew, where operating fairly blind... BUT when you say that the potential of B5 COULD NOT be seen in the first 13 episodes filmed, I think that is YOU who are revising history, my friend. There were SEVERAL *VERY* good episodes which work as quality sci-fi up to the standards of ANY show (Midnight on the Firing Line, Soul Hunter, The Parliament of Dreams, Mind War, Deathwalker, Survivors and even Grail), as well as one which ranks among the BEST of B5 (And The Sky Full Of Stars) and another which, IMO ranks as one of the BEST cliff-hangers in TV history (Chrysalis). All this whithin the first 13 episodes. This was an above average show from the very start. From what I have heard (Not just from Glen) Cruasade does not work NEARLY as well, in *IT's* early stages. NO ONE has panned it outright, but there is not NEARLY as much enthusiasm around it. It is time for us (JMS included) to move on. It is time for something *NEW*. Glen, any interesting prospects on the horizon?

  • May 31, 1999, 4:02 p.m. CST

    B5 was greater than the sum of its parts

    by CoolTony

    I think Crusade would not have lasted more than a season EVEN if TNT supported it more. Maybe I'm just too casual of a B5 fan (tho' I have them all on tape) but I was never excited about Crusade. B5 was basically an OK TV show and a great series. The individual episodes often contained horrible acting, LAME attempts at humor, cheesy FX, and bad dialogue. But the storyline...ah, it was great. I was never excited about Crusade's premise. B5 was EPIC, but Crusade seemed like an excuse to continue in the B5 universe, little more. I guess I'm sorry that those of you looking so forward to it are disappointed (or will be). I probably won't even watch the 13. (My B5 friends and I have an ongoing debate...who is the worse actor, Lyta (Patricia Tallman?) or the Dr. (Richard Benjamin?) I pick the Dr. every time. That speech he gave about Sheridan picking up some Bagels...UGH! PAINFUL!!!)

  • May 31, 1999, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Hubris

    by Saalon

    I consider myself to be a pretty big fan of Babylon 5, but I think that after oh..the 4th season a large problem began to manifest itself. Namley...ego. I think JMS is greatly talented, but the bigger the shwo got the bigger his head got, and I think that sort of thing rubs off in the writing. While I'm not a seaosn 5 hater, there were points in the seaosn that I felt were a bit sloppy, the sort of thing where it wasn't a matter of experimenting but a matter of not trying as hard as he had in some of the rest of the show. I mean, season four he make s a big show to close off EVERY loose end possible because the show may get canceled, and yet at the end of season five therea re more loose ends than at the end of season four. If it was so important to close off every possible road for him to pick up IF the show got renewed, why couldn't he have left B5 with some closure on some important topics instead of just leaving them up int he air (I.E. Garibaldi's revenge against bester). It's nto that I mind him setting up for movies and crusade, but he shot himself int he foot for the first half of season five by closing off all plot threads for a possible ending of the show, but does the opposite at the real ending. baffling. It's the sort of semi-sloppy attitude that wasn't present when eh was fighting for survival. The same could be said for the middle two TV movies which, while decent were hardly what I'd consider "Movie Quality". I've seen more care put into the bigger TV episodes of the third and fourth seasons, while these were less...thought out. As Glen poitned out...the transition of B5 from the little show that could to Big Show changed things a little bit. Not that i disliek "Big" shows, it's jsut that...a little ego here, a little executive based turmoil there...and you add up to a decent problem. Boy that was a ramble...err. heh. Ah well

  • May 31, 1999, 7:43 p.m. CST

    Help let it have a second chance

    by Cilghal

    I very much appreciate Glenn's thoughful commentary and analysis. As someone who, as part of the "Crusade for Crusade", has worked long and hard to save the show for a second season, to have Crusade be boring and poorly done would be upsetting indeed. Still, as many of you have mentioned, even "tried and true formulas" have crashed and burned in early sequel epsiodes. As much as I loved STTNG in its later seasons, I very nearly gave up on the show at the beginning for being a crashing bore. And DS9 was even worse than that. Some of the problem may be that is always takes the actors themselves to work into the part. Each actor is different, even to the point of how well they fit their makeup. Like Glenn, I really hope to see Crusade get the second chance it deserves. So I ask you: please do not give up on Crusade even if you wind up agreeing completely with Glenn's analysis. Write the Sci-Fi Channel. Write Warner Brothers. Let them know that you want Crusade to continue. The actor's contracts end in mid-July, and could still be renewed. IF WE ACT IN TIME. To get the addresses of where to write (and we ARE talking snail-mail here, not email!) please check out: http://www.astro.umd.edu/~fleming/index.html Thanks!

  • May 31, 1999, 9:18 p.m. CST

    B5 Season 1

    by ElDorko

    I've been watching some first-season B5 lately, and one thing I've noticed it that it seems to have a lot more general *atmosphere* then subsequent seasons. I'm not sure whether it was the film stock, lighting, and just time spent setting up the shots, or some combination thereof... there also seemed to be more creativity in showing the station - instead of always showing generic corridors or offices, there were shots in, say, the never-seen-again-since-Fall of Night monorail thingy. Anyone else feel this?

  • May 31, 1999, 10:19 p.m. CST

    A BIG grain of salt for this one, Glen.

    by Flint2

    Hey Glen. I'm afraid you pulled a pretty strange 50/50 on this review. I agree with you that Galen and Dureena are excellent, compelling, and entertaining characters from what I saw of them in ACtA and that Chen's *ahem* "music" is a stroke inducing plague of all plagues. But I'm going to have to take a big grain of salt indeed on your analysis of Captain Gideon and the special effects. You like Lochley and think she's full of life but you think Gideon is stale, rigid, and uncompelling? Maybe you're right about Gideon. But it seems a little strange that you think Lochley, one of B5's most stale and uncompelling characters, is to be ranked higher than Gideon. Lochley suffers from a bad case of "Avery Brook's Sisko Syndrome" which is rampant with symptoms of zero human emotional range, believability and any real likeability. Just as Lochley was surrounded by excellent characters in S5 who all made her look like a lifeless sap, Sisko was surrounded by excellent characters like O'Brien and Quark but came off looking and sounding a lot less human than most of the human *and* alien characters in DS9. So maybe that means you're right and Gideon will be boring compared to Galen and Dureena. But maybe it will also mean that Cole's style of acting when portraying Gideon will play very well off of Galen and Dureena's spunk and spirit. Also, like others have been saying, you can't say that you have gotten the "feel" for the entire series-ANY series-just from the first handful of episodes. That's stretching your opinion mighty far and trying to predict most of a serie's future that isn't even on screen yet. This really is nothing more than your opinion for the episodes you've seen. Your assumption that the rest of the series will be more or less the same as the early episodes you've viewed is nothing more than your own hunch or gut feeling. As for your spfx anaylysis, what?! You're comparing some of the show's effects of Netter Digital to the supposed FX the old "Land of the Lost" struggled to put on screen? B5 improved and pioneered the art of CGI spfx without the use of models. Crusade should be no different. Unless ofcourse, you mean that some of the shots you described really do like little clay/plastic men and dinosaurs? Well sorry to sound confrontational, Glen. It's just that I agree with some of what you had to say but other stuff puzzled me big time (especially the spfx review)I *really* DO love Coaxial and you do an excellent job with it : ) I'm not in the "I hate Glen" club. Like you said, I and everyone will have to watch and judge everything for ourselves. But I'm going to tune in and at least expect all the FX to be at on par with B5's unlike how you thought some of them to be.

  • June 1, 1999, 3:41 a.m. CST

    Watch Crusade

    by Skript

    Remember a few weeks ago there was a great chaos when the first reviews of Star Wars Episode 1 were released. No matter the reviews we watched all the movie. Same to Crusade, the first reviews said it is a great show and now someone sais it is not good. We are all confused . Now, please watch Crusade, make your own descission if the show is good or bad. If enough people watch there is still hope for a second (better?) season. Watch Crusade!

  • June 1, 1999, 6:39 a.m. CST

    Re:Disquieting ((From COAXIAL"

    by coaxial

    DARK wrote: "And as you mentioned in your article, when push came to shove from the network, Joe picked up his toys and went home." GLEN says: I don't remember saying this in the article.**Glen**

  • June 1, 1999, 7:19 a.m. CST

    Re: BIG GRAIN of salt ((from COAXIAL))

    by coaxial

    FLINT wrote: "This really is nothing more than your opinion for the episodes you've seen." Well, DUH!!!! Isn't that what all criticism is? Also, that's why I...at the top of the article...encouraged everyone ot watch all episodes and decide ofr themselves. FLINT said: "B5 improved and pioneered the art of CGI spfx without the use of models. Crusade should be no different. Unless of course, you mean that some of the shots you described really do like little clay/plastic men and dinosaurs? " That's right, Flint: CRUSDADE *SHOULD* be no different than B%'s FX quality. So why aren't many of them as good???? And yes, I meant some of the FX looked just as phony as those LAND OF THE LOST dinos. Just wait 'till you see the "fearful golden dragon" in "The Long Road", then come back to me and defend you point.**Glen**

  • June 1, 1999, 8:23 a.m. CST

    hmm

    by Meriadoc2

    hmm, all and all things considered, i think that the show has alot of promise in that all of the things that were mentioned as being stumbling blocks can be fixed. most good shows become good after having time to develop and work out all the wrinkles, and it sounds like all the wrinkles in Crusade can be ironed out with some time and effort. i only hope that that time will be givin. Meriadoc

  • June 1, 1999, 8:39 a.m. CST

    Improving the Show?

    by Savant

    If the previous poster is correct and this show could improve if given a chance, doesn't it require one important element to do so? Don't the producers have to admit that it needs improvement in order to do so? JMS has said many times that he was perfectly happy with how Crusade turned out. "Better to have 13 episodes I was proud of than 22 I was not", was something like his words. He has set himself up as not willing to listen to any suggestions about the show. At this point, who would even give him the chance to fix it. According to him, it aint broke.

  • June 1, 1999, 8:42 a.m. CST

    Arc Eps

    by Skript

    Perhaps JMS should release the script which starts the arc via Internet. It is already written but there was no time to film it. So, JMS release the script and show us how good Crusade can be (remember all B5 arc eps were 'killer' eps).

  • June 1, 1999, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Novelization: the ultimate fate?

    by DarthKoshi

    I read somewhere that JMS originally wanted the B5 novels from Dell to be multi-volume novelizations of each season of the show, perhaps allowing more depth and explanation in places, compared to what was seen during the episodes themselves. If CRUSADE never sees the airwaves again, beyond the first 13 eps, perhaps JMS might consider telling the rest of *this* tale in such a set of novels, or at least drafting full outlines, a la the Psi Corps trilogy, for another writer to complete... AND SPEAKING OF B5 BOOKS: If you haven't read the first two Psi Corps books, go right now and grab them-- they're far, far better than most all the books in the previous series. This Keyes fellow has potential and could become a major name in SF down the road. I think we B5 fans were fortunate that he was available to write these.

  • June 1, 1999, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Well Crusade Sux

    by Violent_A

    It looks like our homie JMS tried to get paied but it didn't work out. From what all you ninja's been saying Crusade sucks shxt big time. It looks like I can spend more time with other juggalos drinking Faygo and banging hoes instead of wasiting our time watching this shxt. He should have quit while he was ahead, but now he's like all the richies counting his money. At least I didn't send money on a campaign to save this mess. Maybe since this is going to be an average to bad show maybe normal ninja's will watch and get renewed so we can have some good shxt up in this bxtch.

  • June 1, 1999, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Don't blame Glenn...

    by orac_uk

    Thanks for the review Glenn. It was one of the best articles I've read on AICN, my heart may have sank whilst reading about possible flaws regarding Crusade, but I got the impression that it was honest. The problem is simple and it's not down to Babylonian Productions. The first season of ANY sci-fi series, has always proved difficult at the best of times. What saddens me is that Crusade's survival has been made near impossible thanks to TNT's clumsy attempts to put things right. Glenn's review is based upon reality and the reality is that 13 shows ain't enough to judge whether a series can pull things around. Hell, it took STTNG 3 and a half seasons before it offered the first watchable episode Yesterdays Enterprise, only to revert back to mildly interesting crap the following episode. Most would say that DS9 is STILL stuggling to find form!!! Should Crusade get that second season, I have every confidence that Gary Cole will make the role his own. I tuned into an episode of American Gothic for the second time last week here in the UK, and there is no doubt that he is an actor of unique quality. Glen's comments on the post production and CGI effects however, worry me greatly. The only minor critism I had of ACTA was that the CGI space shots lacked colour. I missed the beautiful nebula clouds and the Excalibur did look a bit odd when it pulled out of the dock. Too much grey. I have always preferred Foundation Imaging's effects to Netter Digital. The effects of Severed Dreams were never bettered in my opinion. I wonder if TNT's useless attitude affected the morale of the CGI boys as most of the effects may have been completed after the cancellation? Many of the production team were probably shell- shocked by this sudden halt to filming. It almost sounds as if the post production team had given up by that point, or was the budget simply too low in the first place? Still despite all this, SKY ONE's purchase of Crusade for the UK market is a big boost for the series. SKY were obviously impressed by what they saw, and have given Crusade a prime-time slot. I hope this posting is not perceived as too negative, as if I'm throwing in the towel. Babylon 5 was the first sci-fi series to totally captivate me in 20 years of banality and Trek clones. The last show to affect me so much was Blake's 7 way back in 1978! Crusade can be the next to do it. It is our last best hope. It has a great premise, some terrific actors and one of the few producers in this barren world of TV who truly understands the genre and what it can achieve. I hope JMS will reveal some of the Crusade arc to SCI-FI Channel in order for the show to stand more chance of making it. I still have a little faith!!!!

  • June 1, 1999, 4:59 p.m. CST

    RE:BIG GRAIN of salt ((from COAXIAL))

    by Flint2

    There's no need to get angry, Glen. I was merely expressing some doubt about your impression of Netter Digital's work on Crusade in some areas. Perhaps you're right, but we'll definitely have to see on this one as you said. I encourage everyone to write the Sci Fi Channel and encourage them to pick up Crusade so we can really see what the series is like once it starts to spread its wings a little. Now on to the meat of my point. FLINT wrote: "This really is nothing more than your opinion for the episodes you've seen." -Well, DUH!!!! Isn't that what all criticism is? Don't change the subject, Glen. I'm not attacking you and blaming you for anything that might be wrong with Crusade. My point is this: You can't tell how a series will really be like just on the basis of the first handful of episodes. If I'd judged all of ST:TNG on its first run eps then I would've quit watching it since Picard seemed to be a dull rigid Englishman with no hope of entertaining the audience and I would've quit watching to avoid seeing Wesley's painfully dopey looking and poorly acted grin he always gave when he got a glimpse of the bridge or recieved the smallest regard from the others. But I didn't quit because of these and many other shaky points in TNG's early years and kept persisting until I was rewared and enjoyed myself all the way to "All Good Things" and some of the better movies (not including the horrible Insurrection). Now for the Babylon 5 perspective on this. Many didn't like Sinclair at times and thought him to be wooden and stale as a character. Then when we started finding out his past by the 8th episode or so, he truly began to unfold as a layered and haunted character which contrasted well when his true relationship with the Minbari was revealed (the Valen factor). Also, who on earth could have predicted such involving story arcs like the Shadow War, Earth Civil War, and the Drakh War by watching the first six episodes of B5? This has nothing to do with your CURRENT opinion of the Crusade episodes you've seen. They're your opinions on what you think of the current episodes. No argument there. But to say the rest of the series will be more or less the same as the first six and unrewarding when compared to B5 is rediculous and nothing more than pure speculation. Gideon might be "a Sinclair" right now, but it will neat to see what he did/how he acted during the Earth Civil War and any other pieces of his past. Who would have guessed Picard had an artificial heart because of his delinquent youth days when he was a young punk-which was a surprise for TNG viewers.

  • June 1, 1999, 6:53 p.m. CST

    Irrelevancies

    by Savant

    All this talk of shows that start off slow and get better (i.e. ST:TNG and B5) is totally irrelevant to Crusade's current situation. Crusade doesn't have a 22-episode commitment and strong corporate support behind it. For all everyone is criticizing TNG's slow start creatively, does anyone know how it did economically and in the ratings? Crusade lives or dies on the quality of its first few episodes. That's the sad fact and Glen seems to have given an honest look at those episodes. No one is going to buy it on the basis on a promise to get better. They are going to look at the episodes in front of them. Something tells me that's what all the prospective buyers did in February. (Does anyone actually believe that Sci-Fi was the only network Crusade was shown to?) This isn't 1994 and this isn't syndication.

  • June 1, 1999, 8:11 p.m. CST

    Crusade

    by starstuff

    I just wanted to let you all know that Cinscape had a review of Crusade. Not good. I pulled it up from their web page. I received a globial this morning at work about the cinscape review. someone in group had seen the first two eps and shall I say there is a consenus building of this series. I will watch next week doing a marathon taping session. I am one of the people that joined the on line groups because of S5 of B5. I was never on the net, just me and my TV every Wednesday night. I also am not a S5 hater but I was confused and disappointed with it. Image my surprise to start watching S5 and see no Claudia. I had no idea what happened to her. I didn't like the way Bill Mumy's character turned into a Son of Sam. The telepath arc was to long. I just felt that the whole season was not put together in a coherent fashion. To me S5 came together during the last seven eps. I was angry in the fact that I felt I was left hanging. I wanted to know why the season ended with so many stories left unresolved. I realized by reading the Lurker's Guide that Sil was filmed at the end of season 4. SiL was a devastating ep to watch. With a network giving JMS a fifth season and knowing this was going to be it, I would have tried to make it spectacular. Was it burn out, the Claudia debacle, the contract fights that did S5 in. I also came in with Bruce. I watched for 4 years and then watched the first season. Yes I hsve S1 tapes. I am a B5 fanatic. I love the show. I remember feeling this way when I started watching STTOS when I was fifteen (1965). I am an original. I've seen alot of TV and I can honestly say that NO SHOW has moved me and grabbed me like B5 did in a very long time. I do know this. I will not have the same feelings for Crusade as with B5. I cn't explain it. Meanwhile my B5 collection is growing. I only started collecting a few months ago but we are going to have to move to a bigger place. I'm running out of room. I hope that WB gets us those DVDs soon. I have the two new Psi Corps novels in front of me. I figure I work to spend my money on things I want and like. Maybe Crusade will grow on me in time. I'll watch all 13 eps and tape them. It will take a hell of a series to replace B5. I will start watching the other Trek series. I'm getting into Farscape, Earth Final Conflict, Total Recal 2070, Stargate S1. I'm open for suggestions on any other sci fi series but B5 will always be first with me. I hope we can have a civil discussion about Crusade after it airs.

  • June 2, 1999, 7:44 a.m. CST

    What a difference a year (or so) makes

    by newsboy

    I'm in radio news--and vividly remember getting the press kit TNT sent out for Season 5 of Babylon 5. Three videotapes, slides, colour folder, the works--they must have spent a fortune. It demonstrated to me the level of committment TNT was giving B5, and gave me hope that not only would the Saga continue, but we'd likely get 5 years of a sequel series as well. For it all to go down the shitter this spectacularly is extremely disheartening. So much hope, not that long ago...now, a promise of 13 episodes that TNT grudgingly is giving us, then...pfft! In the new TV guide, I see they bought a full page ad for the Crusade premiere. I'd love to think this is indicative of some slim chance the series can be rescued, but from the review posted here, it sounds like they should scrap the 13 episodes in the can and go back to square one. It will be iinteresting to see where, if anywhere, JMS's vision goes from here; on the screen, anyway. I have zero interest in seeing this universe continue in comics and novels. B5 and its successors belong on the screen...big or little, as long as they continue.

  • June 2, 1999, 8:20 a.m. CST

    TV Guide

    by Savant

    The previous poster mentioned an ad in TV Guide by TNT. It's a good thing TNT placed it because the TV Guide editors didn't put too much attention to the show. They chose the "Sopranos" (wisely, my VCR will be set for that) as their "editor's choice" for the night. Otherwise, their "close-up" on Crusade is rather neutral--neither positive or negative--just a "here it is" kind of description. The "Save Crusaders" supposedly barraged them with letters a few weeks ago about the crisis surrounding the show. It doesn't look like it made any impression.

  • June 2, 1999, 12:54 p.m. CST

    To Anyone Who Cares...

    by Garabaldi

    I get the sense that anyone who bothers to post to any topic that's sci-fi related takes these subjects a bit too seriously. I also get the feeling that unless you are an "afficinado" of sci-fi (not unlike a wine taster) or an honest to goodness film critc, that the opinion you express here doesn't carry alot of weight. Well, be that as it may, here's my two cents worth - lighten up. Enjoy the fact that you live in a country that allows you the opportunities to all forms of sci-fi in their many splendid or ridiculous forms. How many other countries have as many networks (cable or broadcast) as we do that can accomplish this? If a certain series affects your fine sensibilities because you like an emphasis on realism, then great, don't watch it. And if you'd like to see most anything that comes down the pike simply BECAUSE it's sci-fi, then fine, watch that. But just don't sit here and complain about how one series doesn't measure up to another. It's a waste of time. I view this as being an "apples to oranges" comparison, or better yet, I think an analogy of child development works even better. To explain in brief, all children grow up with differing (and in most cases) wonderful personality characteristics. I think sci-fi works the same - that all shows can't "grow up" to be Einsteins or Churchills, but we get a nice (or bad) mix of everything. It's up to you, the viewer, to decide what you're willing to watch, and the "networks" decide the rest. Sometimes this means we lose a good show, or one with "potential", other times we get mad because a show survives we think shouldn't have. Not to be a hypocrite or anything, but I dislike Star Trek: Voyager very much, and gave up on it shortly after the beginning of season 2. But that doesn't mean it doesn't hold any relevance for anyone else who may think it has redeeming qualities. I think it's GREAT that it's on the air for someone else out there that identifies with it... So what if DS9 wasn't as good as you hoped, or B5 was over-rated - they're just opinions, as are what I'm spouting now. The only point I'm really trying to convey is that I'd rather see bad sci-fi than wall-to-wall cop shows & medical dramas. We don't need to belittle each other or these sci-fi shows simply because we hold strong feelings one way or the other. "Live and let live" sounds like a better credo on this or any other forum if people here could just learn to respect our vast differences. *Just opinion of course*, but I liked DS9 from the beginning, as well as B5 (which I don't believe could EVER be over-rated). I even loved season 5. Maybe the majority of people here believe the opposite of me - but despite the occasional episode in B5's "infancy" or 5th season that some would consider lame, I like the roller-coaster. You can't always remain on a "high", because life isn't like that, and neither is a consistent "high" in story-telling possible. It's an artform, and not all works of art are equal nor compelling... So I say "So what?!" if Crusade doesn't hit a home run out of the gate! Maybe I should want it to so that it survives (which I'm hoping it will because I like this "universe" JMS created), but even if it doesn't, isn't it enough that we even have this series at all? Isn't great that we can even discuss the pros & cons of a series that has yet to be aired? YES! But why be so "critical"? Were you worried about being critical when you saw Star Wars as a kid when it first came out, or were you "excited" about the possibilities of being taken to another world and entertained beyond anything that had ever attempted to do so before? That my friends, is the "possibilities" that attracts us to the sci-fi genre in the first place! It offers (or tries to) an escapism that is more wonderful and fulfilling than other genres seem to accomplish. To prove the point, when was the last time you ever heard anyone argue the merits and get all worked up about Citizen Kane (considered by many to be the most masterful piece of film ever produced)? I would venture that not many of you would care (outside of film classes, that is). It's about imagination, and the ability to forge that into reality... but mostly, it's about fun, and letting us learn to appreciate what it was like to be a kid again... and that's why sci-fi needn't be "criticized" to the extent it seems to be here at AICN. Can't we just enjoy it on face-value? Is it necessary to nit-pick a genre that is for prctical purposes based entirely on imagination?

  • June 3, 1999, 3:21 a.m. CST

    Different Angle

    by Vorpal

    Very good review, I skipped over the episode by episode section (spoiler reasons) but everything else was very well written. However... (now don't everyone go tensing up and thinking I'm some automatic this show has to rule because it's JMS type :) there is something erking me by the way the majority of the people are looking at Crusade. I feel like people are treating it more like season 6 of B-5 then a whole new show. Why does it sound like that everyone is thinking since B-5 was the little show that did, Crusade is automaticly the little show that should? I was there at the beginning of the series (ahem.. sorry) and saw the Gathering when it originaly aired. I thought the pilot was ok and I figured I'de see what the first episode is like once the show would start a year later. I knew that it would have a story arc based on what I had already read in magazines, but I had no clue as to what this story would eventualy be and therefore assumed that the first episode would give me a good indication of where the show would go. When it did finaly come on I watched the first episode and thought that the show was just trying to be like DS9 (waaaayyyy off) and I didn't really bother watching any of the other episodes. If I was around and it was on I'de catch it, otherwise I didn't go out of my way. I missed alot of those early episodes but I remember seeing parts of And the Sky Full of Stars on a projection screen inside a Pizza joint and thinking, 'well that's kinda neat' but still I wasn't overly impressed. Well I just happened to catch the magical 13'th epiode of Season 1 and after that episode I did a complete 180. All of a sudden I was aware that the show had some sort of arc to it that was of a greater scale then what I had already assumed it to be. Suddenly the thought of this story continuing with the involvement of that dark ship, and that strange man asking questions signed a "I will watch every episode till something happens that convinces me this show completely sucks or the series ends" contract. And I did, and every episode I waited for JMS to screw up. There where some close calls and I never 100% bought into the notion that this show can't fail, but I was happily disproven as more and more plot threads came together, and incidently I lost interest in DS9 by the beginning of season 2. Even though I actualy do like this review and think it's 100% valid and from the heart, I think my stance concerning the show is differnet. I'm along the lines of 'ok they have to set up all the elements of this show. This has nothing to do with B-5, this is a completely new situation the arc that existed for B-5 is over now we have to put in all the game pieces for this one in place (which is primarily to me what season 1 of B-5 is) before any triggers get fired.' Crusade doesn't have to live up to B-5's standards for me, it has to create it's own. If it didn't and instead used the exact same elements that B-5 used to make it good I would probably be a little dissapointed and less interested. I hope that JMS is creative enough to do a completely different style of show with Crusade but still keep it cohesive with B-5. The sci-fi elements should still be as solid as the previous series (rotating sections for gravity, etc) but it doesn't have to have the same 'focus'. If that is the case then in order for JMS to pull this off he has to undo some of B-5's elements (in a slow evolutionary way otherwise the show is uncohesive). For example JMS reportedly pays close attention to all elements of the show especialy the music (refering to interviews with CF about what it was like composing the music for the series) so I think he wouldn't have changed composers if it wasn't for a solid reason beyond just, oh I want to hear something else in my show now. BTW everyone I watched ACTA with (about 8 of my friends) thought the music was just fine. Some, including me, liked it. I do think it was weak during the battle and I really didn't enjoy it much there but it worked for me for all the other scenes. It has a very unerving mood that I think adds to the atmosphere of this new series. Excelent score for this guy's first TV episode ever in my opinion. If it's not already clear let me say that I am in no way trying to slam the above review this is just .02 I had to get off my chest. I'm well aware that I'm typing this in the shadow of someone who actualy saw the show so for all I know this series may actualy with out a doubt completely and uterly suck, but I think that's great. I'm back to feeling EXACTLY as I did before in the early days of B-5 and I can't wait to see if I'm eventualy disproven, thanks Coaxial. :)

  • June 3, 1999, 5:41 a.m. CST

    Glen: SFX comparison?

    by John K

    Glen: I am interested in knowing how the effects in Crusade match up with some of the less successful effects on B5. For instance, are they similar to the creature in "Geometry of Shadows", or "The Long Dark", "Grail", etc? There are a lot of early episodes of B5 with not-so-good effects that might give people a better feeling for the quality of Crusade's effects. If you think about it, the space CGI on B5 was much better than any example of creature CGI on the show. The best creature CGI that I can remember was probably in "Thirdspace". So, honestly, is there a good example from B5 creature CGI that compares to Crusade?

  • June 3, 1999, 8:17 p.m. CST

    The FX

    by Savant

    Another magazine weighs in on Crusade. Entertainment Weekly gives it a C+ and says that the FX are mediocre. There's a story here. I wonder what it is.

  • June 3, 1999, 10:53 p.m. CST

    B5, Year 1

    by kreisher

    I agree with corbin; the first season of Babylon 5 had the same shortcomings as the episodes of Crusade you reviewed. But, with time, everything got better: the music, the acting, the FX, the editing, etc. As far as bad acting goes, they can be replaced, as O'Hare was by Boxleitner. My biggest complaint is the choice of story to follow up B5. This quest for a cure just isn't very appealing. A much better choice would have been a chronicle of the Telepath Wars. Lennier, who was a popular character, thanks in no small part to Bill Mumy's abilities, figures prominently in this war, according to JMS. And, since it falls chronologically into the 3-year gap between the end of B5 and the beginning of Crusade, meaning the timeline of this event is shorter, it perfectly suits a "limited series" of, shall we say, 13 episodes(!). Perhaps then the quality, in all aspects, could have been improved, since everyone would have been focused on cranking out a mere 13 eps, instead of apparently trying to pace themselves to last 5 years.

  • June 4, 1999, 6:51 a.m. CST

    Well of cource the 1st season sucks

    by djk5323

    That's mandatory for a jms show. You _do_ remember the ultra clunkiness of most of season 1 B5, right? jms uses season 1 to try out the actors to see if they will be good or bad, and to try various story ideas and story telling methods. Although the review was rather brutal, I would still think that had it gone through all 22 season 1 eps, some more clear proof of potential would have shown itself. If B5 had only produced 13 episodes I probably wouldn't have thought much of that series either.

  • June 4, 1999, 7:22 a.m. CST

    Why mandatory?

    by Savant

    Why is the 1st season sucking mandatory? JMS, Copeland, and Netter are not newbies anymore. People are supposed to learn as they go along--get better. I've compared the credits of War Zone to the fifth season and I'd say that 70-75% of the people are the same. The major differences are the loss of John Flinn and Christopher Franke. I'm sorry, but If I was managing employees who had been doing there jobs for five years and they didn't grow or learn from their past mistakes, I'd sit down and tell them "this is unacceptable". Because it is.

  • June 4, 1999, 8:54 a.m. CST

    Sci-Fi Dissappointments

    by JackStar

    I welcome the balanced critiques. I've said it before and said it again.. if the producers fail to provide good sci-fi, we shouldn't lap it up just to have SOME sci fi on air or on the screens. I realize he was working under pressure, but if JMS failed to pull off Crusade, which was supposed to be less arc oriented, and therefore didn' need a first season to get to full boil, well, let's see him try again with a different world, or later on. Having not seen Crusade, I'm remaining hopeful that it will work, and that we can try and salvage it. But if it doesn't work, I'm not going to invest any emotion in yet another failed franchise.

  • June 4, 1999, 6:03 p.m. CST

    I Agree with Alexandra DuPont

    by Kirin

  • June 5, 1999, 9:18 p.m. CST

    Review

    by lpfnrobin

    I appreciate the review. However this does not discourage me in the least. I rememeber other series 1st seasons.....and nothing could be as bad as the DS9 copy cat finale this month. But what does concern me is where will Crusade end up? In the can or somewhere. I mean he (JMS)tops Lucas IMHO - dont go to waste

  • June 6, 1999, 6:49 p.m. CST

    IBLIS Technomage?

    by Lord_Darth

    Show me your outright plagiarism? There is similarities in SIL and DS9's Finale but its hardly plagiarism. The only problem with DS9's finale arc is that they didn't start it soon enough. This made the final episodes seem rushed overall.

  • June 7, 1999, 6:16 a.m. CST

    Forgive this Pseudo-Fanboy rant . . .

    by Lord Shell

    Ah, now we have the eternal battle continue. What battle would that be, you say? The battle between judging the actual merit of a series continuation (or sequel), and the blind loyalty of fans. I myself have been on both sides of this war many a time. These days I tend to pitch my tent on the merit side, but not always. As an example of my weak willed vacillation, I recorded only the second half of the first season of B5 (since I considered the first half to be mostly dreck) and then proceeded to record ALL of the fifth season, even though I recognized that telltale hint of dreck. I thought to myself "It'll get better before the end, yeah! That's the ticket!" The fanboy within me took control, and thus I vacillated. I suppose I unconciously saw something better than what was there, simply because I so WISHED it to be so. Maybe it also comes from not wanting to feel cheated. I had agonized over seeing all of B5 for so long, that the last season just HAD to be good. If not, then what had I put all that emotional effort into? I think this is something all us fanboy types wrestle with from time to time (Some far more than others). Our previously created world view vs. the new reality. The new reality is always distorted through the prism of our previous experiences (whether good or bad) so it makes it nearly impossible to render an unbiased opinion. The point to this? Even though nigh-impossible, look at the episodes as if you've never seen a single episode of B5. If they seem to blow chunks, well, then they probably do. If they seem to have some merits, then look at them through the eyes of a fanboy and try to decide if there's enough reason contained therein to continue the series. If not, then LET IT GO. Not every piece of literature penned by every great writer in history has been a fount of wonderfulness. A writer is often best defined by his mistakes. How do you know the merits of an author unless you see his flaws as well? In other words: "They can't all be gems!" Now if Crusade blows, does that mean I'll lose all respect for JMS? Certainly not. It'll just show that he has feet of clay like the rest of us. Maybe it'll show that he needs to move on to another project altogether (Personally, I'd like to see a good epic fantasy series). If he does, well, I'm sure I'll be there to watch with the rest of the fanboys. Forgive my weakness.

  • June 8, 1999, 9:21 a.m. CST

    Crusade review

    by Wyzzrd

    First, Glen's review was IMO fair and honest. However, there is merit in the argument that JMS et al use S1 to "debug" a series; a first season is, after all, very much like beta testing. It should be noted, also, that writers, directors, effects producers, etc. are *artists*, not factory workers. Art IS experimentation! Unfortuately, to survive it must be "commercially successful", bringing up another point... All of these reviews are from experienced SF audience members, not the general public, from which ratings (survival food of a series) truly derive. Perhaps TNT has a better grasp of its audience than do we, or JMS. (the "dumbing of America" IS a reality). So...JMS can do what he does best, and that is slip in the subtleties...which, while placating the masses still get through and quietly raise the overall quality (guerilla art?) as did Shakespeare. :-) Finally, there IS an alternative venue, on that may bring Paramount, TNT, et al to their knees and one that is particularly nurtuing to SF, and that is NOT comics or novels! Perhaps JMS and others will begin to explore this "new" medium. :-)

  • June 8, 1999, 10:14 p.m. CST

    Sleeping in Darkness...

    by Verger

    I fear this series. Yes, B5-S1 seemed lamer than the rest... but I remember the *exact* moment this thing hooked me: when the StarFury was matched to Soul Hunter's out of control spin. No one had ever done anything that realistic before...... it is true that that the first six or eight episodes were, individually, not as "good" as the rest. But much of that was because we had no baggage to draw upon. Just look at the Ivanova character. I even like the last half of S5. And SiL *destroyed* a certain other series' ending by comparison. But Crusade, ::sigh::, seems to have little to live for. I'll still be watching. I hope that, somewhere in 13 episodes, we see the magic come to life. Even if there are only ever 13 songs.

  • June 9, 1999, 7:33 a.m. CST

    Star Blazers

    by meich

    When I was growing up, the local station showed a Japanese cartoon called Star Blazers, and it sounds almost exactly like Crusade. It's been a while, but I think the plot went like this....an evil race called the Gamilons bombed Earth with something that starts killing everything on Earth. (Only one year, this time). A cure is found on a distant planet, so the Earth forces build a giant spaceship, with a massive, experimental weapon on it (starting to sound pretty familiar). The show had probably 40 episodes in its arc, but they made it and saved Earth. I wonder if these guys were watching the same show I was.

  • June 16, 1999, 10:48 p.m. CST

    Signs and Portents

    by Iwrite

    I remember the first ep of B5 and how I was so leary about it. But you know what? After Signs and Portents, I was hooked. B5 was no longer a United Nations in space, it was the home of characters who were very little living in a very large universe and very large things were taking up more space than they were. Sigma 957 kids, I still remember the home of the "Zog" aliens. That's where it all started, on Sigma 957 in Signs and Portents, I loved the show after that and am a loyal B5 fan till the end. give me one, just one arc show for Crusade and I will follow Matthew Gideon into battle no matter where he goes. Just give me the word JMS and I'll storm Ted Turner's house in my underwear for this series. Take that Jane Fonda.

  • June 23, 1999, 2 p.m. CST

    Nice Dreams

    by Abel

    Vatican 5 had our last, best, Pope for peace. He failed. Cue music. Shot: Pope diving to floor from explosion. Shot: Apostle screaming at Pope, "Damnitt, McKowsky! Hear we do things by the book!" Shot: Shuttle docking at the sceptre shaped Vatican 5. Shot: Pope in Divine Thunderbolt looks in suprise and horror as evil Protestent destroyers pile out of jump-gate. But anyway... Babylon 5 overall has been a massive success. The first half of season one was dodgy but entertaining and I could see that there could be a story hatching. The second half confirmed this as I realised that all was not right with Earth, the Narn were asking for a butt-kicking (greek tragedy-Hubris) and the dark atmosphere kept conflicting with the 'This is a peaceful station, peacity peace peace! Peace is our mission...' kind of thing, which meant of course, war is coming, lots of it. Still I was incredibly surprised with Chrysalis which is in B5's top 5. The reason for this was because it felt like one of those mornings when you wake up, switch on the TV and with horror see something like the coup of Russia in the early 90's. It felt like if it would happen, this is how it would. The murder of Santiago was handled perfectly. And 'better' was to come. The atrocities of the Narn war, the Orwellian japes of Nightwatch and Earth, those Shadows! It all felt apocalyptic, and yet there were those great characters taking us into it. Think of it this way, a man responsible directly for the murder of 260,000 people, nearly all civilians, and indirectly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of millions. You want to hate him. But he's Londo! If we were there, if it was real, we would be rightly damning him watching ISN. (This does not mean I support Milosovich, Pinochet et al, I would like to personally see them hung.) But it was incredible that JMS could make him so sympathetic. Season 2 and 4 were great. Most of season 3 was as well. First half of season 5 was wank, with five very powerful episodes saving it around the end. Babylon 5 has been worthwhile, I intend to give Crusade every chance (unless it is a s bad as fist half Season 5, and I am talking about all 13 eps here) Babylon 5 is definitly my second fave story, with Neil Gaiman's 75 issue comic Sandman first. (Gaiman's Sandman is 99% perfect. Even though his 'Day of The Dead' had it's nice moments it was a disappointment. Read Sandman and his other stuff, he is imho the best writer around. Worthwhile comic? Yes!) So lets give Crusade a chance! Pwease. And remember we still have B5's happy memories, it's only a story, (Though a damn fine one!) and theres bundles of other great ones spread throughout other genres! So get hunting! ( The Star Trek franchise has at least three dozen great episodes.) And stop bitching! Abel. A UK fan. And sorry about the opening, I am not religious.

  • July 28, 2006, 10:50 p.m. CST

    I bet they sunburn easily.

    by Wolfpack