I'm still debating chronological or JMS's order, but I decided that, either way, I'd start with the episode TV viewers had to see first, War Zone. I don't know if I'll post thoughts on each episode like I did with B5, but I decided to atleast do it for the first episode.
War Zone – The mutineer's are understandable. If the Earth is quarantined, and they're from Mars, I can see why they wouldn't want to go there. The debris field was interesting. I wondered who these “alien attackers” are, but the weird Q&A at the beginning was nice enough to give me some info. It looks like the drakh are the ones causing trouble. The theme music isn't great. The riot stuff looks like stock footage. This plague isn't all that threatening, since B5 already showed that the Earth is fine for a few hundred years, until they blow themselves up. You'd think they'd drop the politics in cases of life or death, but I guess to politicians care more about getting their way then having the best team possible. The way the archeology thing is set up, with a lack of communications, seems like a dumb idea. Why are they repeating the mission statement? They just said it about 2-3 minutes ago. Are they going to repeat it every time a new person shows up?
Also, what telepath unpleasantness? the bombings from late B5 season 5? What are the new rules for telepaths? I can't believe there is actually a thieves guild I hope the mage's guild or fighter's guild will be represented on the ship. Maybe he can get an elven rogue or dwarf berserker to round out his party. The Excalibur looks cool. Is the first officer Psi Corp? He's not wearing the uniform, but I didn't think any telepaths were part of the military (not counting hidden/weak ones like Ivanova) and he doesn't seem like a rogue. Senator Exposition likes to repeat info the audience already knows. Its a little early in the show for the “I'll leave you to die if you don't help me, even though you're only a civilian” threat from the captain. Are the red eyed drakh guys in helmets? They don't look like the main one, and their heads look like helmets, not actual heads. They also kind of look like Predators. Obi Wan is interesting, although he could potentially be an annoyingly mysterious guy if done wrong. The fighting montage was kind of lame, atleast from a music perspective. The Excalibur's big gun is interesting. I'm kind of surprised that the Excalibur could take on three ships at once. I thought all the techno mages were gone forever. He's kind of creepy. Repeating the earlier Q&A is a bit annoying. This episode wasn't great, but I knew that going in, since even JMS doesn't like it. The exposition was heavy and repeated way too much, but the set up and characters seem interesting.
First, have you watched the TV Movie A Call To Arms
yet? It's a Pre-Pilot, and should be watched before Crusade.
Second, War Zone
was a Pilot TNT forced JMS to Produce, because they wanted a "sum-up" the plot Pilot. Episode 1.01 was his desired Pilot for the series.
Crusade skipped past the Telepath War, and was going to cover some of it in Flashbacks, and there was hopes there would be a Theatrical movie or other medium to tell the Telepath War, but,all we got was one flashback in a Crusade Episode and what little is covered in The Psi Corps Trilogy of books