Crusade (TV series)

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Television series
Original title Crusade
Country of production United States
original language English
year 1999
length 44 minutes
Episodes 13 ( list )
genre Science fiction
idea J. Michael Straczynski
music Evan H. Chen
First broadcast June 9, 1999 (USA) on TNT
first broadcast
June 23, 2011 on Syfy

Crusade is a 13 episodes comprehensive American science fiction - television series by J. Michael Straczynski in 1999. The series is a spin-off of the television series Babylon 5 . She was discontinued early.


The first ideas for Crusade developed in late 1996, until TNT gave the green light for production a year later . The film Babylon 5: Brothers in Arms served as the introduction and link to the Babylon 5 universe for the series . When pre-production began in 1998, the first differences between Straczynski and TNT arose during the casting process . Filming began in August 1998. After completing five episodes, production was temporarily halted. TNT insisted on several changes, including new uniforms for the Excalibur's crew . In addition, a new pilot episode was shot with War Zone; Originally, The Ships Cemetery was supposed to open the series. In the end, eight more episodes were produced, with those responsible constantly arguing about the content. After market analysis, which TNT did not satisfy, the production was completely stopped. Warner Brothers and Straczynski attempted a continuation on Sci-Fi , but the series was not included in the station's 1999 budget. Before the first episode was broadcast on TNT in June 1999, the project could no longer be saved.

The production team was supported by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA support to ensure that science and technology are represented as accurately as possible.



The series takes place in the year 2267. Reference is made to many events that have happened in the Babylon 5 universe in the past , especially in the past ten years. These include the war against the shadows , the civil war within the Earth Alliance , the founding of the Interstellar Alliance and the independence of the Mars colony, all of which can be seen in the television series Babylon 5 (2257–2262). The five-year telepathic war (2262-2266), which was looming at the end of the fifth season of Babylon 5, is only known from mentions in the series, films and novels and from official timelines. The direct story leading up to Crusade is the TV film Babylon 5: Brothers in Arms . In the film, the Drakh , former allies of the shadows, attack Earth and manage to release a bio-weapon into the atmosphere that will wipe out all life on the planet within five years.

Main storyline and planned continuation

Captain Matthew Gideon, commander of an Earth Alliance research vessel, takes command of the Excalibur, a new destroyer of the Interstellar Alliance. He and his crew - above all the first officer Lieutenant John Matheson, the archaeologist Max Eilerson, the ship's doctor Dr. Sarah Chambers, the ex-thief Dureena Nafeel and the technomage Galen - are sent on a mission to find an antidote for the Drakh plague.

For three more episodes that were no longer shot due to the cancellation of the series, the scripts were already ready. Her plot belongs entirely to the canon of the Babylon 5 universe and marks the beginning of a new storyline in which Gideon uncovered a conspiracy within the Earth Alliance that was experimenting with forbidden shadow technology.

J. Michael Straczynski commented on the further course that the series should take afterwards. Accordingly, a cure for the Drakh plague would have been found in the course of the second season. After several incidents, the Excalibur's crew was mostly on the run because they were believed to be traitors. The cure found for the earth works differently than expected and an even bigger conspiracy is finally uncovered.

Cast and dubbing

The roles of actors Peter Woodward and Carrie Dobro were introduced in the film Brothers in Arms . Tracy Scoggins was also part of the main cast of Babylon 5 as Elizabeth Lochley and took on a recurring role in Crusade . In one episode, Richard Biggs has another appearance as Dr. Stephen Franklin . For no longer produced a result Value Judgments had Walter Koenig already agreed to back the role of Alfred Bester to embody.

actor role Voice actor
Gary Cole Matthew Gideon Hubertus Bengsch
Daniel Dae Kim John Matheson Oliver Field
David Allen Brooks Max Eilerson Wolfgang Condrus
Marjean Holden Sarah Chambers Claudia Lehmann
Carrie Dobro Dureena Nafeel Ulrike Lau
Peter Woodward Galen Boris Tessmann
Tracy Scoggins Elizabeth Lochley Silvia Missbach

Order of the episodes

The correct chronological order of the episodes has been the subject of discussion from the start. The order of the first broadcast on TNT was already different than that intended by J. Michael Straczynski. The main reason was the broadcaster's decision to change the color of the uniforms from gray to black after the production of the first five episodes. It was decided to broadcast the episodes in black uniforms first and then the eight episodes in gray uniforms, which led to various continuity problems . The DVD release from 2004 (or 2005 in German) also uses this order. For a rerun on the Sci-Fi Channel in 2001, Straczynski himself determined the sequence and ignored the changes forced by TNT, such as the color of the uniform. Finally, in the book Across Time and Space: The Chronologies of Babylon 5, a chronological order was presented, which, among other things, takes into account the color of the uniforms and episodes that have not been produced, but is still not completely free of contradictions. The 2017 Babylon 5 Encyclopedia uses another order that tries to keep these contradictions to a minimum (see chronological order in the Crusade / Episode List article ).

DVD release

Crusade was released on August 26, 2005 in German synchronization as a box with five DVDs . Similar boxes had already been released on December 7, 2004 in the USA and on March 28, 2005 in Great Britain. In the Spacecenter Babylon 5 Superbox , released in Germany on November 21, 2005 , Crusade is not included.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. 'Crusade': 15 Years On - The Sci-Fi Hit That Never Was. Retrieved October 26, 2019 .
  3. ^ "End of the Line" Review. Retrieved October 19, 2019 .
  4. Crusade. In: German dubbing file , accessed on October 18, 2019 .
  5. ^ Crusade episode viewing order. Retrieved October 6, 2019 .