• The new B5TV.COM is here. We've replaced our 16 year old software with flashy new XenForo install. Registration is open again. Password resets will work again. More info here.

Can someone tell me about the planned arc?


Beyond the rim
I've seen bits of infomation over the years about where Crusade was going in terms of story arc, and I was wondering if someone could fill in the gaps for me.

I know something about the crew finding a cure that was not quite what it seemed, and that they would have to go renegade because no one believed them. I also read something about Galen getting shot?

I would much apreciate anyone who can give me a good description of the events that would have happened over the 5 years had JMS not been forced to pull the plug. Thanks
There really aren't a lot of specifics available. Here's the gist of it, derived from two of the unproduced scripts and some JMS postings.

<font class="small">Spoiler:</font>
<table bgcolor="#000000" cellspacing="2" cellpadding="2" border="0"><tr bgcolor="#000000"><td bgcolor="#000000" id="spoiler"><font color="#000000">Near the end of S1 Gideon has another encounter with the mystery ship that destroyed the Cerberus and killed every crew member except for him. Among other things he discovers that the effect of its main weapon is virtually identical to that of the Excalibur's main gun. While the mystery ship escapes, Excalibur's crew discovers a unique energy signature that would make it possible for them to locate and follow the ship in the future.

In the S1 cliff-hanger they would find the ship again, this time following it to a secret base. Gideon and Galen infiltrate the facility. Gideon is captured and brought to the base commander - an EarthForce officer in charge of a covert project intended to adapt and exploit Shadow technology. The ship that destroyed Cerberus was an early experiment that "escaped" The Human CPU went mad, hence the attack. Meanwhile Galen makes his way deeper into the site and discovers its ulitmate secret - an area where Humans are being used as "hosts" to grow Technomage-like implants. Galen destroys the area, killing the doomed "hosts" in the process.

After the pair escape they have a major falling out. Gideon is shocked to discover that Galen's Tech was provided by the Shadows, and is angry at how much possibly vital information Galen has withheld from him to protect that secret. Galen leaves Excalibur.

Gideon organizes a meeting of those working on the cure, to be held on Mars. At the meeting he intends to present evidence of what he found at the secret base. He intends to go alone, so that he's the only one who can be accused of treason for revealing the secret, but Matherson, Dureena and Max all join him. (Chambers may be there, too, and perhaps one or two others from the crew.)

As Gideon approaches the building where the meeting is to take place we become aware that Galen is also on Mars, watching from a distance - and that he has discovered that an assassin is lying in wait for Gideon. Before Galen can sound a warning the assassin fires and we see Gideon fall to the ground - fade out.

JMS has indicated that the cure would have been discovered in S2. At some point the Excalibur crew would realize that the cure was not exactly what it appeared. No one in EarthGov would believe them, however. Gideon and company would "steal" their ship and "go renegade", hunted by both EarthGov and other forces, in an attempt to find out what is really going on. That was pretty much as far as he went in describing the future of the show. What follows is speculation, and very limited speculation, at that.

We know the plague comes originally from the Shadows. We know that a similar plague was created by a technomage using nano-tech, and that the Drakh plague seems to use some of the same techniques. We also know that both EarthGov and the Technomages have some knowledge of Shadow-based nano-tech. Finally we know (from the Technomage novels) that all Shadow-tech has the quality of predisposing the user towards chaos. If the "cure" is an application of Shadow-derived nano-tech, there is a good chance that it will retain this quality - creating almost as many problems as the original plague would have. Since this is only a possibility, however, and since there would be unimaginable ethical and political pressure to use any cure as soon as it was discovered, it is entirely plausible that EarthGov would ignore Gideon's warnings and use the cure. The argument against using it would come from a maverick captain who had at least tried to reveal top-secret information, and a technomage who was inherently suspect.

It is interesting to note that B5 really got the Shadow arc rolling only in S2. Prior to that much of the emphasis had been on Sinclair's missing 24 hours and the Minbari surrender, although the mysterious Shadow ships and the notion of an ancient enemy were introduced starting around mid-season. The original outline for B5 had called for these threads to be resolved by the fourth of fifth episode of S2, with the Shadow War then dominating until early S4. Similarly Crusade S1 would have been about finding a cure for the Drakh plague, although the Shadow-tech thread would also have been introduced. Early in S2 the plague story would probably have been ended, and the new thread begun. (The plague story was never sustainable over five years, anyway. We all knew the plague was cured.)

I'm not sure where the story would have gone after that. But I can make a couple of guesses on specific points: 1) The IA, especially John Sheridan, would have been more open to Gideon's ideas than EarthGov, and would likely have provided some covert assistance to Excalibur. 2) Elizabeth Lochley, who was spared the hard choice of acting against her government and orders because she was never told to bomb civilians or commit any other obviously criminal act, would now have to make that choice after all. I suspect that she would throw her lot in with Gideon. Excalibur couldn't have docked at B5 without instantly being seized, but I'm willing to be Gideon and others could have come aboard on shuttles and used the place for meetings and to pick up supplies.

Anyway, that's what little I know, and what little I can guess about the future direction of the series.</font></td></tr></table>


</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
Originally posted by Joeseph DeMartino:
<font color="yellow">Anyway, that's what little I know, and what little I can guess about the future direction of the series.</font color>

Only JoeD can say something like that in regards to a 7-8 paragraph long post. /forums/images/icons/grin.gif
Thanks for that, some very detailed and interesting infomation there. If two of those things had happened on screen (i.e. the show had kept going), I would have been a little concerned that it was too much like some events in B5:

1) Gideon getting shot in the s1 cliffhanger. Would this be too much like Garibaldi getting shot in "Chrysalis"?

2) The Excalibur "going renegade"? Would this be too much like B5 declaring independance?

When I say 'too much like...', I kind of mean that it would seem like a re-hash or copy of some B5 elements. Obviously they would be in different context and stuff, but I wouldn't have wanted Crusade to seem like a rip off of bits of B5.

Perhaps it only seems like this to me because I'm reading it instead of seeing it on screen. Anyway, all very interesting. /forums/images/icons/smile.gif
It would have been a great story to tell had JMS been given a chance but thanks Joe for the detailed stroy arc it helps to give me of what crusade might have been like.
I've had those same thoughts - hell, even my speculation for "Rangers" including a possibility of going a bit renegade ... it seems a common idea (at least in B5 and "Crusade") ... however, I don't think I would mind, since I trust JMS to do it well and new. In B5 it was against a government that most people knew was corrupt - even if they would not act upon it. In "Crusade" it would be against an idea Gideon and his crew knew was dangerous and/or corrupt but almost no one would agree - anything would be better than succombing to the plague, they'd say.

I disagree totally about the similarities between B5 and Crusade.

Its reaching to draw a parallel between those 2 getting shot. Seriously, LOTS of season finales have key characters getting shot in them. I guess both characters found out something they shouldnt have, so in that respect it is similar, but again that sort of cliffhanger is common in TV.

Why I disagree about Crusade being similar to B5 is that the overall story appears to be VERY VERY different. B5 was about the rise of the human race, uniting the other races in the galaxy, casting out the first ones, among some other points. Crusade seemed to have a very different story at its core. It seemed to be more along the lines of the impact of weapons from past wars on current society, dependance on technology, and things fo that nature.

One of the things a lot of people have commented on is that JMS's current show, Jeremiah, has a lot of similar threads to B5. The "together we are stronger," "we have to unite and create the world we want to live in" themes. THAT show is more similar to the core of what B5 was than Crusade was going to be. IMO that is why I personally miss Crusade so much. It would have really been a different story, but set in the same B5 universe. Very interesting possibilities.
I know I say this a lot, but it has been awhile so I hope I will be forgiven for repeating myself:

Crusade always felt like more of a "Blake's 7" project to me. I am NOT saying that I think it would have been a Blake's 7 rip-off. I'm just saying that it seemed much more of a renegade group's story than B5.

I know, there were renegades on B5. There was also oxygen, but I'd say that is just to be expected. /forums/images/icons/wink.gif

But Crusade (IMHO) was much more about a rag-tag group of available humans being thrust together (some not of their own free will [aside: I did love the character of Max /forums/images/icons/grin.gif ]).

Perhaps being a college math instructor I have a keen love of chaotic grouping situations. /forums/images/icons/laugh.gif But I felt Crusade had more potential than B5. Don't throw things at me, I just mean that JMS had a lot of directions he could go in that would not have been practical in the long-term on a show like B5. B5 was about myth-making. Gods descending. Human race evolution kind of stuff.

Crusade was about what happened in the middle. /forums/images/icons/grin.gif

I will forever weep for the wonderful stories that we will never see from that magnificent premise. /forums/images/icons/frown.gif
I actually said that it might have been too similar to some B5 ELEMENTS.

I entirely agree that the two shows are about completely different things. I just mean that some of the events that would happen in these different stories would be similar - a key character getting shot in the s1 cliffhanger for example. I know that happens in a lot of shows and its a common cliffhanger, but we've had that cliffhanger before on B5, how about something different? Same for the crew "going renegade". The B5 characters essentially whent renegade as the Army of Light. I'm not saying it 'aint good stuff, just that it has similar ELEMENTS.

Now, don't get me wrong, I entirely agree that Crusade would have been a brilliant series, and watching all these things on screen would have been great. I miss it too. The possibilities are very, very interesting indeed.

Long live Excalibur
It's not absolutely certain that Gideon does get shot at the end of Season1. He gets shot AT, but does he actually get hit? The script could be seen as ambiguous:

Matthew! Matthew! GET DOWN!

Matthew hears his voice, starts to turn.

The sniper-scope is trained directly on Gideon's chest.

The sniper's finger pulls the trigger.


Turning back INTO CAMERA as we HEAR the CRACK of the gun firing; there's the FEEL of impact in the look on his face; and he FALLS BACK SLOW .. and we FADE TO BACK as he strikes the pavement, then SUPERIMPOSE: To be continued...

He falls and strikes the pavement, but it only says there's a FEEL of impact.

I have no strong opinion either way on this one, but it could be a set up /forums/images/icons/smile.gif
I think JMS wrote it that way mostly to convey to the director that we stay with the close-up and therefore do not see the shot. (Among other things, writing the event this way saves a camera set-up and the cost of the SFX for the shot. JMS has always been a frugal writer. /forums/images/icons/smile.gif) I don't think that there's much doubt that Gideon is hit.

If anything I suspect that JMS was playing with the real-world history of B5 - leaving the audience to wonder if he was going to switch lead characters again during the long summer hiatus. /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

I think the case of Excalibur's going renegade would have been very different than the events of B5. In the earlier series we ended up with what amounted to a full-blown civil war - one side that had evidence that the government was not legitimate and was violating its own charter, and therefore brought it down. Lots of people joined the opposition, including large segments of the military.

In Crusade the government isn't necessarily evil or corrupt, and the goal is not to bring it down. There are certainly elements of the government that are doing things they shouldn't be doing. But releasing the cure when there are questions about it isn't necessarily an evil act, just an unwise one - and we only know that because we implicitly believe that the heroes are right. (And we mostly believe because they are the heroes.) The government, on the other hand, knows that they definitely have something that cures the plague, and they know that more people will die for every day they withhold it. (They are surely also thinking about what the press and public will do to them if it comes out that they did withhold it.)

If there were an AIDS or cancer cure available which might have side effects that wouldn't manifest themselves for several years, would you release it or withhold it for further testing?

The other dynamic that is different is that Excalibur apparently finds the cure. So while the crew is guilty of acting against orders, they are also heroes, and can't be branded public enemies as easily as the opponents of Clarke were. (Even there the Clarke propaganda machine was careful not to paint war-hero John Sheridan as a villain, only as a misguided man under the influence of evil aliens and genuine Human traitors.) The presumably legitmate Earth government of 2267/8, most of which would know nothing about the secret Shadow-tech work, would be even more reluctant to launch a full-scale attack on the people who saved Earth's population from certain death.

The whole thing could have been very interesting.


yeah, it would. I think "The Path of Sorrows" showed us that very well.

Is the Crusade arc doomed to be an untold story forever then? I know there is next to no chance of a TV revival, but are the arc stories ever going to be developed in books or something? I still wish I could have gotten those scripts...

What was "Tried and True" going to be about then, anyone? I know it was something to do with Dureena and the thieves guild was it not?
I think SCI-FI's biggest mistake is not using "To the ends of the Earth" as a 2nd season premiere for Crusade, instead of going with Rangers.
The script was already written, the casting done, maybe the sets and CGI files needed replacing.
They could have run the previous episodes of Crusade in widescreen and then premiered S2 on a friday.
To those who haven't read the script or JoeDM's spoiler, its sort of a cross (ito arc and quality) between Sky and Signs and Portents.
Sure, End of the Line would have ended up being in the middle of the season, but then JMS is used to not having a decent wait after his cliffhangers with PTEN scheduling.
</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
I think SCI-FI's biggest mistake is not using "To the ends of the Earth" as a 2nd season premiere for Crusade, instead of going with Rangers.


This just isn't realistic. There was no way that Sci-Fi was going to commit itself to spending at least $15 million dollars (for 13 episodes, nearly $30 for a 22 episode order) to put Crusade back into production without some kind of preliminary. A TV movie (like Rangers) only costs them around $3 million. If it works, they can continue. If it doesn't, well they didn't spend that much money, and they (presumably) have the right to air it again a few more times. It is much easier to schedule a 2-hour movie than a "busted" series. If Sci-Fi were going to do anything with Crusade it would have been a TV movie, not an immediate resumption of the series.


"If Sci-Fi were going to do anything with Crusade it would have been a TV movie, not an immediate resumption of the series."

That would be pretty cool though. Cos if they did a tv movie at least it wouldn't be left hanging /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

Latest posts

Members online

No members online now.