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Trivia / Crusade

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  • Billing Displacement: Cap. Elizabeth Lochley (Tracy Scoggins) is listed as a main character in the credits, implying a Transplant from the Babylon 5 movies, but she only appears in three episodes, one of which is an ordinary crossover with Crusade's parent show. It is possible she would have received a larger role in later episodes.
  • Creator's Favorite: TNT initially wanted fewer cross-references to Babylon 5, to avoid Continuity Lockout and attract new viewers. An exec met Tracy and liked her, which is why they went back on that edict; they needed a reason for Lochley and the other B5 favorites to recur.
  • Executive Meddling:
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    • The demands for a second pilot, plus the reordering of episodes, plus the constant demands for more puerile humor, sex and violence. The good episodes, you will notice, have the standard red/grey uniforms, from before the revamp.
    • 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 TNT's alleged mistreatment of him. He vowed not to pull any punches, but Warner Bros. agreed and everything he wanted to say was recorded. Upon recieving the finished DVD set, Joe found that some creative editing had been performed: his criticisms were gone and replaced by unrelated audio clips from the on-camera interviews. JMS was furious and successfully lobbied the studio to remove his entire "commentary" from later pressings.
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  • God Does Not Own This World: Back when B5 was a part of WB's failed PTEN syndication block, JMS had unprecedented autonomy. He wrote, produced, composed, etc. and carefully crafted each aspect of his long-form science fiction epic. At TNT, he ran into corporate suits with their spreadsheets and select demographic targeting. This led to lower budgets and compromises in writing. Sets were limited. "T&A" and violence were added for ratings. Continuity errors reflected corporate meddling. Ultimately tempers flared and no one was happy.
  • Hostility on the Set: In the supplementary material (Crusade: Behind the Scenes), show writer Janet Greek goes all-in on Gary Cole, accusing him of bickering with crew members and refusing to return when they tried to revive the show on Sci-Fi. She believes that the show would've been better off without him. She also claims that one of TNT's biggest complaints about the show was Cole which, if true, says a lot about his on-set reputation/awfulness considering that TNT instructed JMS to cast him in the first place. After the book was published, Greek quickly withdrew a lot of her statements, so it's unclear whether the book is based in truth or just a hit-piece.
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  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Good luck finding that Crusade: Behind the Scenes book. It was limited edition.
  • Network to the Rescue: Back when he was still writing Spider-Man, JMS did an interview where he talked a bit about how TNT had second thoughts on the show and began barraging him with crazy "suggestions" that included Gideon setting up Dureena to get raped by a hoodlum, then interrupting said rape and blackmailing the hood into doing what he wants. JMS was (intentionally?) put in a position where he either obey the notes and watch ratings plummet, or ignore the notes and get everyone fired. Fortunately, Warner Bros' position was that TNT had the right to submit notes, but that JMS was not obligated to carry them out to the letter. His showrunner contract gave him a large degree of creative control within limits set by the studio (WB), not the network (TNT), thereby ensuring he could write something which wouldn't make him embarrassed to show his face in public.
  • Prop Recycling: Cole kept his Earthforce Academy ring for his role as Bill Lumbergh; presumably it's a class ring in-universe.
  • Real-Life Relative: Peter Woodward's father, Edward Woodward, played another techno-mage, Alwyn, in "The Long Road".
  • Screwed by the Network: The most noticeable artifact is the scrambled episode order, but that was just the beginning of it.
    • On JMSNews.com, JMS talked about TNT Atlanta i.e. the business office, as opposed to TNT Los Angeles, the "creative" office. According to him, Atlanta decided to kill Crusade once they analyzed the B5 viewing patterns: audiences were skipping over all of TNT's other programming, jumping in for Babylon 5, and then ignoring the rest of the network's nightly lineup. They took oversight of the show away from TNT Productions in L.A. (on a very flimsy pretext) and started calling the shots from Atlanta and making Joe's life a living hell. Ratings had nothing to do with it: Production shut down in February of '99, post-production wrapped, and the stages and offices were vacated by April, but the first episode didn't air until July. All of the decisions had long-since been made, and no amount of ratings would have saved Crusade at the end of the day.
    • TNT were contractually-bound to produce a 22-episode season for the better part of $30 million, so part of their motive was to shut it down early and save some money. They went so far as trying to withhold funds to complete post-production on the first five (non-Atlanta) episodes that had been filmed. Warner Bros. drew the line at that, and made them pay up. WB should have sued them for $1.3 million over the nine unfilmed episodes, but it dawned on someone further up the food-chain that if WB sued TNT, the legal bills for both sides would be paid by Time-Warner stockholders since the conglomerate owns both. TNT also wanted WB to refund every cent they had contributed to the production costs...in licensing fees. Even though TNT were killing the show after 13 episodes and were contractually obligated to pay Warner Brothers for 22. TNT's willingness to fork over post-production money to complete editing, sound, and FX on the last batch of five episodes was supposedly their quid pro quo for WB dropping the suit. TNT had originally refused to pay for post-production on the first five episodes shot (the ones with grey uniforms) that they had never wanted to air. TNT never did pay the balance for the unfilmed episodes.
    • Immediately after the second production shutdown, Sci-Fi attempted to pick up the show. In the same interview, JMS stated his belief that TNT didn't want to make the show, but they didn't want their competition to profit from the concept, either. That's the only reason why TNT kept B5 on the air as long as they did: Sci-Fi were not willing to pick up an untested show like Crusade without also being able to air its parent show. TNT offered up the rights at an inflated price so that no other network would pick it up. Sci-Fi did eventually buy the rights to air reruns of Crusade, B5 and the movies, but that was only after the rights reverted back to Warner Bros. years later.
  • Tom Hanks Syndrome: Ahmmm, yeaaaaaah you don't exactly see Gary Cole and think "military bearing". He gesticulates a lot, leans against any piece of scenery within reach, and he's trying very hard to look 'alpha'.
  • Trope Namer: For Traveling at the Speed of Plot via J. Michael Straczynski's comments on the show.
  • Troubled Production: As you might already be able to tell from the rest of this page, TNT had little faith in the show.
  • What Could Have Been: See "What Could Have Been: Babylon 5".

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