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Trivia / Crusade

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  • Billing Displacement: Capt. 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.
  • Continuity Snarl: Due to the Executive Meddling, which included an attempt to write a new pilot, complete with a whole new set of uniforms, there is pretty much no entirely correct order of episodes to watch this show in.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • The aforementioned demands for a second pilot, plus the reordering of episodes to place the Mid-Season Upgrade before the first episodes to be shot, plus the constant demands for more sex and violence... The good episodes, you will notice, have the standard red/grey uniforms, from before the revamp.
    • 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 the corporate suits with their spreadsheets and select demographic targeting. This lead 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.
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    • Michael York (who played King Arthur in B5 episode "A Late Delivery From Avalon") was willing to return as the lead for Crusade, but TNT said no, essentially because they didn't want Star Trek: The Next Generation and Crusade to imply that every starship captain will be English in the future. Instead, TNT pushed for Gary Cole due to his accessibility.
    • TNT originally wanted the show to have little references to '’Babylon 5'' as possible so that Continuity Lockout wouldn't scare off new viewers. An exec met Tracy Scoggins and liked her, which is why they went back on this so that they could have Lochley and the Babylon 5 recur.
    • Back in the mid-aughts (when he was still writing Amazing Spider-Man), JMS did an interview where he talked a bit about this, suggesting that TNT had changed their minds about the show and started sending notes with intentionally horrible "suggestions", putting them into a position where they either follow the notes, make the ratings plummet and get canceled for both the ratings and the distasteful content, or fight/ignore the notes and get canceled for being too difficult to work with. In the end, he said, knowing that they'd be canceled no matter what, he tried to find a middle ground where he would try to follow the notes while also making a show that he wouldn't be ashamed to show his face for.
      • In the same interview, he also stated that TNT seemed to not only want to get rid of the show, but kill it off entirely, offering the rights to the show at such an insane price that no other network (such as the Sci-Fi Channel) could hope to pick it up.
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  • Follow Up Failure: The characters didn't seem to interact as believably as, well, B5's did. The story didn't seem quite so important as B5's did. That's the problem: Joe was competing with himself. Given some time, this show might have outgrown of the shadow of its elder brother; Unfortunately, TNT, having sunk money into the original show (they paid for the fifth season, and various one-off movies), could not apparently bring themselves to gamble on a new property.
  • Hostility on the Set: According to show writer Janet Greek, Gary Cole apparently did not get along well with crew members and refused to return when they attempted to revive the show on the Sci-Fi Network. On the other side, Greek thought that he should have been fired after she saw the first three episodes they filmed and thought that the show would've been better off without him, to the point that the Season 1 finale might have ended with Gideon getting killed off for real instead of a cliffhanger. Greek also claims that one of TNT's problems with the show was Cole, which also says something about show's Troubled Production if this is true considering TNT's Executive Meddling made them use Cole in the first place. Although given that Greek came to take back her words, both of their reactions could be chalked up to frustration with the show's Troubled Production.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Good luck finding that "Crusade: Behind the Scenes" book. It was limited edition.
  • Prop Recycling: Gary Cole kept his Earthforce Academy ring for his role as Bill Lumbergh; presumably there its a class ring.
  • Reality Subtext: According to JMS, one episode having two EarthGov PR guys on board asking for changes such as new uniforms was a jab at the Executive Meddling the show was receiving in real life.
  • Real-Life Relative: Woodward's father, Edward Woodward, played another techno-mage, Alwyn, in "The Long Road".
  • 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:
    • JMS had a five year arc planned out, which he's teased at over the years and will be revealed with the publication of Crusade script books. Additionally, three scripts had been written and prepped for production when the show was cancelled, including the season finale.
    • "To The Ends Of The Earth", by JMS, would have kicked off the series' real story arc: Gideon gets a lead from the Apocalypse Box on the phantom ship that destroyed the Cerberus and takes the Excalibur AWOL on a Captain Ahab mission to find it. The Excalibur manages to destroy the ship after a prolonged chase and a submarine-esque battle in an asteroid field, but the ship is damaged and Gideon alienates much of the crew. It's revealed that unbeknownst to Gideon, Matheson is aware of the Apocalypse Box. The episode ends with Gideon and Matheson finding evidence that the Excalibur has an "opposite number", and the audience learns the phantom ship had some connection to EarthForce. This would also (presumably) have been the Season 1 title, in line with Babylon 5's practice.
    • "Value Judgements", by Fiona Avery: To open a telepathically-locked alien tomb, the crew seek out a seldom-seen local telepath with powerful abilities, only to discover the telepath is fugitive war criminal Alfred Bester. Walter Koenig had signed on to reprise his role as Bester (a recurring antagonist in Babylon 5), and thought the script was the best he'd read from the franchise yet. The episode would also have explored Matheson's history as a Psi Corp telepath and how normal/telepath relations had changed — or not changed — in recent years.
    • "Tried and True" was a standalone story, also by Fiona Avery: Dureena's former mentor, Mafeek, imprisons his former pupil and interrogates her to find out why Dureena signed on with the Excalibur crew.
    • A trio of episodes, loosely called "the Sword trilogy", that would've focused on Matheson and Dureena.
      • "War Story": Dureena is abducted by an unknown ship and Matheson believes he is responsible.
      • "The Walls of Hell": Gideon and Matheson seek the help of the Apocalypse Box to find Dureena, but after first declaring that "Dureena is unimportant", the Box manipulates the situation to possess Matheson's body and take over the whole ship.
      • The untitled third part of the trilogy: Dureena returns to the Excalibur with a magical sword and no memories of what happened to her.
    • "The End Of The Line", by JMS, would have been the season finale: Gideon traces the origins of the phantom ship to a top-secret EarthForce base. He learns the Earth Alliance has secretly been experimenting with Shadow technology, in direct violation of Interstellar Alliance policy, since before the Shadow War — and now want to eliminate Gideon to keep their secrets. The origin of Technomage powers is revealed to be Shadow technology organically bonded to living beings, the result of a deal between the Shadows and the earliest Technomages. The first season would have ended with Gideon travelling alone to Mars in an attempt to expose the EarthForce conspiracy, only to be shot and seemingly killed by an Earthforce sniper.
    • The cliffhanger would be resolved in season 2 by transferring Gideon's consciousness into the Apocalypse Box until his body had been healed. As a result of discovering the conspiracy in EarthForce to use Shadow technology, the Excalibur crew would be "black-balled" by the Earth Alliance and become renegades. Ultimately, the cure to the Drakh plague would have been discovered around the middle of the second season, since the Earthforce conspiracy storyline was always meant to be the main arc of the show.
      • Since the show was cancelled and none of these story arcs were shown, writers attempted to include them in their Expanded Universe novels. The Passing of the Techno-Mages trilogy notably describes the origins of techno-mage "tech" as Shadow technology. Also, the Shadow hybrid ship that destroyed the Cerberus is itself destroyed shortly after by a weapons overload.
    • In 2010, it came to light that Peter Woodward (Galen) wrote an entire episode that JMS had slated for the second season. It's called "Little Bugs Have Lesser Bugs" and would've been/is (if you read the script) equal parts icky and funny.
    • Michael York was willing to return as the lead to Crusade, but was vetoed due to Executive Meddling.

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