[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/crusade.jpg]]

->''"Just so we're clear: once we go, this is my command. I'll do whatever's necessary. If that means turning the entire galaxy upside down and shaking its pockets to see what falls out, that's what I'll do. I'm not subtle, I'm not pretty, and I'll piss off a helluva lot of people along the way, but I'll get the job done."''
-->--'''Captain Matthew Gideon'''

A spinOff from ''Series/BabylonFive'', telling the story of the spaceship ''Excalibur'' and the search for a counteragent to/cure for a slow-acting biological weapon that had been successfully deployed against the Earth in the B5 movie "A Call to Arms". ''Crusade'' retained two characters from that movie, Galen the techno-mage and Dureena Nafeel the alien thief. Despite its unfortunate resemblance to ''UchuuSenkanYamato'' (''Star Blazers'' in North America), ''Crusade'' showed promise before its premature death (only 13 episodes were completed out of a planned five seasons).

This being said, the series suffered terribly from ExecutiveMeddling from day one - it was commissioned by a network whose understanding of the series pretty much stopped at "We'll be [[CashCowFranchise rolling in money]] if this is as popular as ''Babylon 5'' was," and then later learned that this wasn't the case anyway -- and the relationship between creator/producer Creator/JMichaelStraczynski and the network [[ScrewedByTheNetwork broke down completely]] while the first season was still in production. By the time the series went to air, it had already been cancelled.

Amusingly, this level of Executive Meddling made it into the screenplays : In several of the episodes, the situations the characters run through resonate with the situation in which the creator was deadlocked with the network, and some of the corresponding dialogue is acidic, to say the least. Then again, if the author had resigned to the notion that he wasn't going to get the series to fly, why not [[BitingTheHandHumor have some fun while at it?]]

In the years since its cancellation, more details have come out about where the series would have went. Check out the Trivia tab for more.

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!!This show provides examples of:
* AliensStealCable: In the episode ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLI4OocZHVQ Visitors From Down the Street]]'' (an {{Homage}} to ''Series/TheXFiles''), the crew of the ''Excalibur'' picks up two agents from an alien world who are looking for proof of a government cover-up. They show pictures of Mount Rushmore and old Earth blimps. They also dress in Earth fashions from 200 years go (ie: from the time period at the time of the show's shoot.) One of them can ''[[AliensSpeakingEnglish speak English]]'' because of information stolen from the conspirators. TheReveal: Years before, the government had found itself in a time of social unrest similar to TheSixties. Upon discovering Earth broadcasts, they used them as part of a truly [[MagnificentBastard Magnificent]] conspiracy; manufacture appropriate "evidence", then dispatch TheMenInBlack to suppress it. The resultant subculture of {{Conspiracy Theorist}}s absorbed the government's critics and kept them wasting their time [[AgentMulder chasing "aliens"]] rather than [[LaResistance engaging in civil disobedience.]] ''[[NoDelaysForTheWicked Every crime the government committed afterward was thus blamed on "Outsiders" who secretly manipulated their civilization, permitting them to do as they pleased.]]'' The main government agent upholding the conspiracy credits and thanks the Humans for cigarettes as he smoked one in victory. Captain Gideon ordered probes loaded with the Interstellar Encyclopedia and sent to the alien world to crack the cover-up.
* AlienNonInterferenceClause: "Visitors from Down the Street" explicitly draws attention to the fact that the ''B5''-[[TheVerse verse]] equivalent of Starfleet ''doesn't have one''. And would be rather hypocritical if it did, because Earth was given [[FasterThanLightTravel jumpgate technology]] by the Centauri in the first place. The aliens had actually assumed they did, even ''trying to rub in'' that the crew couldn't interfere. They made sure to include that part of the conversation in the recordings revealing the conspiracy when they distributed them across the planet.
* AnachronicOrder: To the extent that it is impossible to view the episodes in any order without continuity errors.
* ArmorPiercingQuestion: Galen asks a series of questions over the opening titles, answered by Gideon except the last: "Who do you serve, and who do you trust?"
** Which, in light of the fact that the cure for the Drakh plague was due to be found around a year and a half into the five year show with the story of Earth's use of leftover Shadow technology taking centre stage, could be seen as a very subtle bit of foreshadowing.
* BadBadActing: Galen, talking through his Homunculus. Presumably because [[TheyJustDidntCare he just didn't care]][[note]]To expand this point, Galen is using a projection of himself to scout an apparently deserted planet. Speaking through the projection the character provides a comically flat, deadpan stream of consciousness, right up to the point that his homunculus is destroyed by an automated security system.[[/note]]
* ComingInHot: ''[[InvertedTrope Inverted]]!'' Lochley's disabled Starfury is ''swallowed'' by the ''Excalibur'''s open hangar bay as the ship swoops past, using forcefield crash barriers to keep her fighter (and her) from being smashed against the rear bulkhead of the bay. {{Invoked}} as a result of ExactWords, below.
* CoolStarship: The ''Excalibur''.
* ConspicuousCG: In the episode "Racing the Night", an alien probe tries to vivisect a {{Hologram}} of Galen.
** Another episode shows Earthforce personnel staring at a giant golden dragon. At first it looks like a SpecialEffectsFailure, but since the dragon was actually a hologram, it was probably made to look fake on purpose.
* CrossOver: Several episodes had guest appearances by ''Series/BabylonFive'' characters, with more planned.
* CulturePolice: The villains from the episode [[spoiler: "The Needs of Earth"]].
* CunningLinguist: The reason Eilerson was hired/kept around.
* CureForCancer / FindTheCure: The series starting premise and the focus of its first story arc. WordOfGod is that they would have found it part way through the second season, but by then the REAL plot about [[spoiler:a conspiracy in Earthforce to reverse-engineer Shadow technology]] would have kicked in.
* DeadpanSnarker: Galen in particular.
* EveryoneMeetsEveryone: The plot of the series premiere - the series would have started with OneWePreparedEarlier but the network demanded an "introductory" episode to start the series.
* ExactWords: On a particular mission, Gideon is under orders not to stop for ''anything'', even to rescue a pilot in distress. His playing with these orders leads to ComingInHot, above.

* {{Expy}}: Max Eilerson pretty well '''is''' Avon from ''Series/BlakesSeven'' with his geek speciality changed from IT to archaeology. Dureena is a hybrid {{Expy}} of two characters from ''Series/BlakesSeven'': like Cally she's a BrokenBird warrior woman whose people suffered a biological warfare genocide, but she has Vila's outlaw attitude and near-supernatural breaking-and-entering ability.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: While the series looks like it's set up like this, the plans were to subvert the trope. The Drakh plague would have been cured around halfway into the second season. See below in WhatCouldHaveBeen.
* {{Homage}}:
** There are multiple similarities to ''Series/BlakesSeven'', which JMS is known to be a fan of: The similar design of ''Excalibur'' and ''Liberator''; the manner in which Max is not merely similarly written to Avon, but cast with an actor who looks quite similar to Paul Darrow; Dureena's nature as a hybrid of Cally's personality and backstory with Vila's talents; the Apocalypse Box as a near-CaptainErsatz for Orac. If the series had continued, the main story arc would have been the ''Excalibur'' on the run from [=EarthForce=].
** "Visitors From Down The Street" is a parody of ''Series/TheXFiles''.
* HeadTiltinglyKinky: The Pak'Ma'Ra-Human porn that Captain Gideon stumbles upon. Right after the ship's doctor mentions that those two species are entirely incapable of mating.
-->"Technology is a wonderful thing."
* ImminentDangerClue: Gideon and Lochley realize at the last second that an alien is about to shoot because the alien weapon produces a smell of ozone when it is being charged.
* InsufferableGenius: Max Eilerson.
* IWantYouToMeetAnOldFriendOfMine: Alwyn, an old friend of Galen and a rival or colleague of his mentor Elric, appears in "The Long Road", and is played by the father of the actor who plays Galen.
* LastOfTheirKind: Dureena Nafeel's home planet was destroyed in the Shadow War and she is believed to be the only survivor. [[spoiler: More of her species are later discovered living on another planet, but they are infected by the Drakh plague and have even less time to live than the humans on Earth have.]]
* LostTechnology
* MagicFromTechnology: The techno-mages, by definition.
* MagicMirror: Gideon's Apocalypse Box, "It gives you an edge. It knows things no one else knows." "You have to be very careful because... it lies. Not all the time. Just enough.".
* MileLongShip: The ''Excalibur'' is 3 kilometers long and has its own internal rail system.
* OnlyOneName: Galen, along with many of the aliens they meet. Subverted with Dureena Nafeel.
** Galen stands out in particular because other main characters are often addressed by different parts of their full name, sometimes by the same person in the same episode.
* OrwellianEditor: A rather bitter real-life example. When it came time for the DVD release, JMS was asked to contribute to the bonus features. He agreed, but only on the condition that he could discuss what he went through in regards to ExecutiveMeddling and being ScrewedByTheNetwork. He didn't plan to pull any punches, but the studio agreed and everything he wanted to say was recorded. Later on after getting the finished DVD set, JMS listened to the commentary - only to find some creative editing had been performed. His criticisms were not only gone, but replaced with unrelated audio from the on-camera interview. He wasn't told they were going to do this, either. JMS was naturally pissed and successfully got the studio to remove the entire commentary from later pressings.
* PercussivePickpocket: A thief does this to Max.
* PilotMovie: Kinda - it only included two characters from the series and was more of a PoorlyDisguisedPilot in the form of a ''Series/BabylonFive'' TV movie.
* ReadingsAreOffTheScale: Subversion, they just switch to a bigger scale.
* RecycledINSPACE: A RunningGag amongst the fandom was to refer to the show as "DungeonsAndDragons In Space!" There was a wizard (Galen), a thief (Dureena), a healer (Doctor Chambers), a warrior (Matheson), a paladin (Gideon), [[AndZoidberg and Max]].
** And in an interview for the DVD set, JMS essentially fronts up and admits that was quite deliberate.
** In addition to the ''[[Series/BlakesSeven Blake's 7]]'' similarities, there's a lot of overlap between ''Crusade'' and ''Literature/TheHobbit'': A team of dwarves/humans are out to save their home with the help of a hobbit/alien thief, a secretive wizard with an agenda, and a mysterious ring/box that shouldn't be trusted.
* ResearchInc: Interplanetary Expeditions (IPX), though they're more into archeology. Max works for them as a linguist, which is how he meets up with and gets recruited into helping the ''Excalibur''.
* ScrewedByTheNetwork: The most noticeable artifact is the scrambled episode order, but that's just the beginning of it (see trope page for more).
* ShoutOut:
** The entire "Visitors from Down the Street" is an AffectionateParody of ''Series/TheXFiles'', complete with alien counterparts of Mulder, Scully and the Cigarette Smoking Man.
** In "Ruling from the Tomb," several characters are hanging out in a bar called "Phobos" on Mars. John Sheridan visited a bar with the same name in the ''Series/BabylonFive'' episode "The Face of the Enemy." The bar doesn't look the same, but considering that Crusade took place five or six years after B5, and the bar [[BarBrawl got pretty trashed]] when Sheridan was there, it's entirely possible that it got remodeled. For bonus points, two of the street names mentioned in the episode are named for RayBradbury and Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs, both of whom wrote fiction based on Mars.
* ThatCameOutWrong: Gideon dates Lochley and at one point asks her if she was ever "under" (unbeknownst to him, her ex-husband) Sheridan. She does a SpitTake. Then she kindly waits until he's taken a drink to tell him who her ex is, forcing one on him too.
** It's a bit of a GeniusBonus too, especially on the first viewing, as only people who watched the last season of Babylon 5 would know that Sheridan and Lochley had been married prior to her mentioning it in that scene.
* ThirtySecondBlackout
* TravellingAtTheSpeedOfPlot: TropeNamer, via Creator/JMichaelStraczynski's comments on the show.
* WaveMotionGun: The ''Excalibur'''s biggest weapon -- an experimental prototype that drains the ship's power for 60 seconds after it's fired.
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