Babylon 5 spinoff. It was canceled when JMS and TNT had a disagreement: TNT wanted to turn it into "Baywatch in Space" while JMS wanted to make somthing worthy of Babylon 5. It was never comperable to B5 but was still a good show.

It was about a prototype Inter-Stellar Alliance ship (with a Earthforce crew) which was seeking a cure for a plague which was created by the Shadows and released on Earth by the Drak. Started with the TV-Movie Babylon 5: A Call to Arms.

Not enough stuff blew up.

That's the semi-official reason why the pointy-haired executives at TNT decided to cancel the television series Crusade after only 13 episodes had aired.  The failure of Crusade may seem baffling in light of the rich success that its parent show (Babylon 5) enjoyed, but it's just a textbook case of corporate mismanagement.  The execs couldn't understand the plot of Crusade without having their hands held through it, and so they ordered series creator J. Michael Straczynski to insert entire trucks full of dry exposition that didn't advance the story at all.  After that, they decided that the series was too dry and needed many more exciting fight scenes and stuff blowing up to make it more interesting.

When Straczynski moved the original Babylon 5 series to TNT after its fourth season, the executives at TNT mostly left it alone--it was an established series, after all, and so they smartly decided not to fix what wasn't broken.  When production on Crusade began a few years later, since it was going to be a TNT-run show from the get-go, TNT insisted on trying to mold the show--something they never understood--into something it wasn't, couldn't be, and shouldn't have been.  It should be noted that TNT is known primarily for two things: Westerns and pro wrestling.  And they wonder why the series failed.

JMS was (understandably!) rather bitter about all of this, and as soon as TNT's rights to Babylon 5 expired he sold them to the Sci-Fi Network.  SFN has thus far given Straczynski much more trust and leeway as far as his B5-related projects go, and the first SFN-produced B5 movie (Legend of the Rangers) was a marked improvement over everything that had been produced by TNT.

Here's a nice quote from a usenet post written by Straczynski that nicely summarizes what he was up against:

I did what I could with what they demanded, and tried to fight as much as I could. For instance, in one scene, where Gideon tells the others to meet him in the conference room, the TNT note was, "How does Gideon know where the conference room is? We should have a scene where he's shown the conference room."

My reply: "He knows where the conference room is because when he's escorted to the bridge by Matheson, *HE CAN SEE IT FROM HIS CHAIR*."

Anyway, this is the "official" ordering of the 13 filmed and aired episodes, listed by the dates on which they originally aired on TNT.  The numbering in parentheses is the order that the series creator, J. Michael Straczynski, recommends the series be viewed in; it's also the order in which the Sci-Fi Network has re-aired the episodes.

(12) War Zone
(4)  The Long Road
(6)  The Well of Forever
(9)  The Path of Sorrows
(8)  Patterns of the Soul
(10) Ruling from the Tomb
(11) The Rules of the Game
(13) Appearances and Other Deceits
(1)  Racing the Night
(3)  The Memory of War
(2)  The Needs of Earth
(5)  Visitors from Down the Street
(7)  Each Night I Dream of Home

It's a shame that Crusade was cancelled when it was. Everyone's favorite Psi Cop, Bester, was to make an appearance in "Value Judgments", the next episode that would have been filmed had the series not been cancelled. This episode would have been followed up by "To The Ends Of The Earth", a "Signs and Portents"-type episode that, along with the season finale, "End of the Line", would have sent the series into an entirely new direction. Apparently there was much more to Straczynski's 5-year plan for Crusade than just finding a cure for the Drakh plague.

Although the scripts for the episodes mentioned are no longer being sold, has more information, if you're interested. (Look under Crusade, Reviews)

Cru*sade" (kr?-s?d"), n. [F. croisade, fr. Pr. crozada, or Sp cruzada, or It. crociata, from a verb signifying to take the cross, mark one's self with a cross, fr. L. crux cross; or possibly taken into English directly fr. Pr. Cf. Croisade, Crosado, and see Cross.]


Any one of the military expeditions undertaken by Christian powers, in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries, for the recovery of the Holy Land from the Mohammedans.


Any enterprise undertaken with zeal and enthusiasm; as, a crusade against intemperance.


A Portuguese coin. See Crusado.


© Webster 1913.

Cru*sade", v. i. [imp. & p. p. Crusaded; p. pr. & vb. n. Crusading.]

To engage in a crusade; to attack in a zealous or hot-headed manner.

"Cease crusading against sense."

M. Green.


© Webster 1913.

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