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Old April 26th 02, 03:25   #11
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Re: Crusade episode order

The first 5 episodes produced (the ones with the grey uniforms) were free of TNT tampering. TNT meddled with the rest of the show (the 'new-look', black uniform episodes) in one way or another...
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Old April 26th 02, 03:38   #12
Joseph DeMartino
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Re: Crusade episode order

To answer the original question: There is no absolutely correct order in which to watch the existing Crusade episodes, for various reasons.

1) The original plan was to start the series five or six months into the mission, with everyone already knowing everybody else. (More like ST:TOS than TNG.) Dialogue and flashbacks would fill-in the missing details. "Racing the Night" was episode 1.

2) After 5 episodes were filmed TNT Atlanta took over supervision of the show from TNT L.A. (Which had worked with Babylonian Productions on all the TV movies and all of B5 S5.) They changed the sets and the uniforms. They also stipulated that they wanted a new "introductory" episode. This created a writing problem. There would now be one episode that started right after ACtA, then a five or six month gap until the next episode. Scripts in process were altered so that some of the "missing time" would be filled in.

3) TNT further, and irrationally, insisted that even the episodes that took place earlier in the story should use the new, black, uniforms. Instead of everybody being in grey and red for the first eight or nine episodes, then changing to black for the rest of the series, they now had to start in black, change to grey and red for five episodes, then switch back. More re-writing followed.

4) Like B5, Crusade was broken down episode-by-episode early on, and script assignments and production slots set so that the production could be as efficient as possible. Thus episodes that were going to be FX-heavy were scheduled early, to allow extra post-production time, even if they would air late. (The classic example of this was "Chrysalis", the B5 S1 cliff-hanger, which was shot in the middle of the production order - episode 11 or 12 - even though it would air as 122.) So when the production was shut down in January of 1999 there were unproduced episodes and even unwritten scripts that were planned to go in between the episodes actually filmed.

5) In the end TNT decided to air all the "black uniform" episodes first, continuity be damned, and cut-off funds for things like additional looping or reshooting to work out the remaining kinks in the filmed shows. They even tried to halt payments for post-production on the first five, but Warner Bros. drew the line at that. This resulted in such wonderful things as the crew using the nano-shield before Chambers invented it, and Gideon and Lochley acting like they barely knew each other several weeks after rutting like minks on B5.

JMS's "Sci-Fi" order is the best compromise he could come up with short of burying every print of "War Zone" in a landfill. It isn't perfect, but simply ignoring the uniform change and trying to keep the character arcs reasonably straight was probably the best way to go.

"War Zone" was the only episode written to TNT's exact specifications, but they offered notes and forced changes small and large in all of the black uniform shows. The hot-shot pilot character was added to placate TNT, for instance, and references to B5 were reduced to a minimum. (Thus Sheridan isn't even mentioned by name in "War Zone" when Gideon is given his mission, although he is in the flashback that opens "Racing the Night")

Some of it was just silly. The uniforms and sets were changed because the TNT Atlanta people, with almost no experience in TV production, thought there wasn't enough contrast with everything being grey. The uniforms and sets blended into each other, and everything was too dark. None of them understood that they were watching lo-res digital editing files, not film, and that these are inherently dark and of limited contrast. The grey uniforms and original sets looked just fine on film and in the final color-corrected broadcast tapes. They shut down the production, paid tons of money for new costumes and sets (to replace the ones they had originally approved) and created untold writing and continuity headaches to correct a problem that didn't actually exist. If one of them had been smart enough to admit their ignorance and had simply asked, "Why does everything look so dark?" much of this could have been avoided. [img]/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

Regards,

Joe
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Old April 26th 02, 04:10   #13
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Re: Crusade episode order

Thanks for the clarification.
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Old April 26th 02, 05:23   #14
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Re: Crusade episode order

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Dulann:
<font color=yellow>War Zone is not how JMS planned to start Crusade, and is a lousy introduction to the series. I just pretend it doesn't exist, and skip over it. [img]/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif[/img]</font color=yellow><hr></blockquote>
Nah, I wouldn't be so strict. It's just an ep that has to be watched on tape, with the finger ready at the FF-button. If not anything else, then the Max bits were classic JMS and really great - it would be a pity to miss those.

But you do have to keep everything that Joe said in mind, or War Zone will really leave a not-so-good taste in your mouth. Racing the Night was, in comparison, an *excellent* first episode.
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Old April 26th 02, 06:17   #15
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Re: Crusade episode order

Heh, ironic ... I was about to start this same thread since I was trying to plot the order of the 13 episodes and 3 scripts before showing them to a friend who hasn't seem them yet.

Well I for one still include "War Zone" in the viewing order since it was produced - and I never found it as bad as most of you do ... hrm ... anyway ... so I put that as automatically first. And the unfilmed script "The End of the Line" (since it was the season finale) at the end. The rest gets a little confusing ...

The other unfilmed script "To The Ends of the Earth" discusses the change-over back from the "fashionable correct" grey/red uniforms to the "original" black uniforms almost two months after they were introduced on the ship (that's not really a spoiler ... at least I hope people don't take it as such!) so it could come in the middle. The best way is that some episodes with the black suits come before the grey episodes and some come after - with the script thrown at the change over. "Patterns of the Soul" - where they use the nanotech shield - has to come after they changed back to black uniforms since they got the nanotech shield from the grey episode "The Memory of War" which was "Four months after" the plague begin - in April.

According to the B5 Chronology page ( http://www.chronology.org/b-five/ ) (which seems confusing on the order of Crusade episodes), the date May 13th was given in "Visitors From Down the Street" (grey uniforms) and the date June 15th was seen in the background of "Ruling from the Tomb" (black uniform) - the later being a definate contradiction since it appears that this is the first meeting of Gideon and Lochley even though they met in a grey uniform episode and it's unlikely to push the grey uniforms back until after June since one grey episode was said to be in April and they only lasted two months.

I'd say "Value Judgments" (unaired script) came after they returned to the black uniforms since I presume if it had been filmed it would have had the black uniforms but probably not aired at the begining.

So ... you have "War Zone" in Jaunuary ... probably a few black uniform episodes ... all the gray uniform episodes over a two month span sometime in Febuary to June ... "To The Ends of the Earth" immediately after the grey uniforms ... the rest of the black uniforms ... and end on "The End of the Line". As for the orders in those segments, I'm not sure ... I'd need to go back and rewatch any character building / interaction ... or we could just say 'screw it' and watch 'em however. [img]/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

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Old April 26th 02, 07:46   #16
Dave Thomer
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Re: Crusade episode order

I agree with just about everything you say, Joe, but didn't JMS at least say he liked the new sets and uniforms? I seem to recall many fans sure did -- Gideon's bellhop comment at the end of 'Appearances' was something of a nod to that reaction. Me, I like the black uniforms -- not enough that I think it was worth screwing up episode continuity for them, but I like them.
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Old April 26th 02, 09:43   #17
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Re: Crusade episode order

yes, he did like the new uniforms......and he said, that even if TNT hadn't done what they had done.....he would have changed the uniforms at some point.....he agreed that the grey ones he picked at the beginning didn't work out to well [img]/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

If Crusade was re-done.....i would like to see War Zone done as some kind of flash back
(as I think all the eps should be incorperated somehow in a new crusade)
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Old April 26th 02, 13:49   #18
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Re: Crusade episode order

While I generally agree "War Zone" left something to be desired, if you play it right behind "A Call to Arms" it does form a bridge to the remaining eps.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by LightNZ:
<font color=yellow>

If Crusade was re-done.....i would like to see War Zone done as some kind of flash back
(as I think all the eps should be incorperated somehow in a new crusade)</font color=yellow><hr></blockquote>

That would work even better.
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Old April 26th 02, 19:25   #19
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Re: Crusade episode order

I know I am coming in a bit late and there are a lot of good answers already but here is my page on the various Crusade orders (TNT, UK and JMS):

http://abyss.hubbe.net/b5/videos/crusade_order.html
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Old April 26th 02, 19:34   #20
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Re: Crusade episode order

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Lyta:
<font color=yellow>I know I am coming in a bit late and there are a lot of good answers already but here is my page on the various Crusade orders (TNT, UK and JMS):

<a target="_blank" href=http://abyss.hubbe.net/b5/videos/crusade_order.html>http://abyss.hubbe.net/b5/videos/crusade_order.html</a></font color=yellow><hr></blockquote>

Thanks, Lyta. See TNT &amp; UK agree with me that "War Zone" should be first (following A Call to Arms) but since JMS dosen't, guess I'm badly outvoted. <LOL>
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