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Old January 8 2013, 07:03 PM   #1
Bry_Sinclair
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Crusade - You are the producer

I'm on a pretty mammoth rewatch of my Babylon 5 boxset, close to finishing Season 5. I'm debating whether or not to sit through Crusade again, and that got me thinking.

The basic premise of the series was pretty decent, but it was so jolting and jaring that there was no flow to episodes. Watching a whole season of B5 in a few days you see the flow, how it all fits together and the impacts some events make on what comes next.

So I got to thinking, what if you were the producer of the show, the studio has come back and green lit the premise but want some changes. They will only let you keep at most two of the characters and/or actors. In exchange they are willing to give you a free hand in making changes (tech, back story, etc), though you have to keep the Excalibur.

What changes would you make?
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Old January 8 2013, 07:21 PM   #2
C.E. Evans
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

Keep the original black uniforms. Those gray ones they switched to were totally bell boy.
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Old January 8 2013, 07:45 PM   #3
Jan
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

The grey uniforms *were* the original ones. They only reason it looks otherwise was TNT decreeing that the last 5 episodes shot should be the first shown. Which also explains why there's little in the way of flow.

There are numerous lists that help the flow a little but since JMS did some post-production to try to mitigate the damage, none are perfect.

And I'd need Gideon, Galen, Dureena and Eilerson at a minimum so I can't play.

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Old January 8 2013, 07:54 PM   #4
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

Jan wrote: View Post
And I'd need Gideon, Galen, Dureena and Eilerson at a minimum so I can't play.

Jan
Replace Eilerson with Trent and move on ... Gideon, Galen, and Dureena were central, though. Can't lose them. That's not to say I dislike Matheson, Eilerson, or the Doctor. It's that their characters hadn't done enough yet to justify keeping them around. GG&D had.

Seems like an odd request, so I can absolutely see it coming from the former sci-fi channel or TNT ... Speaking of, I hear TNT is about to introduce their first original series.
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Old January 8 2013, 07:56 PM   #5
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

Crusade in the original way JMS intended, with no TNT interference, and a five-year run would do me just fine actually.

If they only wanted two characters, then I would probably keep Galen and Dureena, but I'd miss Gideon. I'm not sure at what I'd do to the long-term plots, since JMS seemed to have something decent already.
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Old January 8 2013, 07:57 PM   #6
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

I'd actually say Eilerson and Galen were the most important to keep, with Dureena a close third. Gideon was fine but there was little unique about him that isn't replaceable.

As far as uniforms, go with Earthforce Blue where appropriate. At the time the different uniforms served to distinguish the show from B5, but at this point it's important to recall that link.
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Old January 8 2013, 08:24 PM   #7
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

This simply isn't possible.

Galen and Dureena had a big arc developing, that was central to the premise, you really couldn't replace those characters.

You can't do the show without a Captain, so therefore, you had to keep Gideon. If push came to shove, you could replace the actor (though it certainly wouldn't be my first choice).

Eilerson was simply awesome, and makes total sense that IPX would want a representative on board the ship

It would make absolutely no sense to the premise of the show early on (Searching for a cure) to be doing so without a Doctor on board, so, again, if push came to shove, you could replace the actor, but, you couldn't eliminate the character

So, that's 4 characters right there that you couldn't do the show without, and as wesome as Eilerson was, and his connection to IPX, it would be foolish to replace his character.

And then of course, Matheson as Telepath, although they didn't use him much up to that point, having a Telepath on board opened up some interesting story opportunities, and since the Captain was meant to leave the Series in Season 2, you needed to have someone in charge when that happened. Daniel Dae Kim was just too beautiful a man to replace the actor
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Old January 8 2013, 10:17 PM   #8
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

I should probably weigh in with what my thoughts are as well, some very interesting points others have made though. Starting with the uniforms, I'd make sure the grey ones never saw the light of day. If anything I'd have them start off in the standard Earth Force blue, then switch over to the black ones.

Long-term plot wise, the plague was to be cured by the end of the second season if what I've read is right, with the main plot thread being to do with the ship that destroyed the Cerberus. I would move them away from B5, Mars and known space, actually have them out in the unknown, looking for a cure, revisiting the same places B5 went to (or was based) is rather dull.

As for characters (btw if people want to include more, then please do, make sure to have a good arguement though ):
Gideon - I never warmed to him. I don't know what it was about him but I always just found him to be very irritating.
Matheson - I liked the idea of a former Psi Corps person now in Earth Force, they could have done more with his telepathic abilities, the new rules he has to live by, and what his life was like in the Corps. I'd do everything possible to keep him (Sindatur you are right, Daniel Dae Kim is stunning).
Lochley - I never understood why she was included in the main cast list with only two appearances. If they wanted her in the show, they should have given her the ship.
Eilerson - A pain in the ass, but then again he was meant to be. A lot of jokes would have been had at his expense, but the role was important. Replace him with someone not so irritating.
Chambers - Someone who should have been a bigger part given the whole 'seach for a cure' spin on the series. More could have been done with her. I really liked her as well, definately someone I'd try and keep.
Galen - I loved Peter Woodward in the role, but I always see it as a deus ex machina. If they need a way to get something done, they just happen to have a wizard along to do it. True he did have a big arc planned and I'd liked to have seen that.
Dureena - She was a kick in the head. Feisty and full on, though with a softer side as well. She is my must have to take through.

I would also have liked to have seen more of the actual crew included in the cast, maybe their own Security Chief and a First Contact Specialist--if not in the core group then at least recurring.
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Old January 8 2013, 10:28 PM   #9
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
I'm on a pretty mammoth rewatch of my Babylon 5 boxset, close to finishing Season 5. I'm debating whether or not to sit through Crusade again, and that got me thinking.

The basic premise of the series was pretty decent, but it was so jolting and jaring that there was no flow to episodes. Watching a whole season of B5 in a few days you see the flow, how it all fits together and the impacts some events make on what comes next.

So I got to thinking, what if you were the producer of the show, the studio has come back and green lit the premise but want some changes. They will only let you keep at most two of the characters and/or actors. In exchange they are willing to give you a free hand in making changes (tech, back story, etc), though you have to keep the Excalibur.

What changes would you make?
Give it an all Japanese cast and add a wave motion gun to the ship...Like Space Battleship Yamato, the anime it stole its premise from...
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Old January 8 2013, 10:31 PM   #10
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Keep the original black uniforms. Those gray ones they switched to were totally bell boy.
I would have just given them the same EarthForce uniforms used on B5. Oh, and fixed the rank system.
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Old January 9 2013, 01:33 AM   #11
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

Admiral2 wrote: View Post
add a wave motion gun to the ship
You mean like the one it already had
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Old January 9 2013, 02:40 AM   #12
Kai "the spy"
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

I wouldn't want to do it. I'd want to watch it, or experience it in another medium.

Speaking of which, I've been wondering, while it's a shame the show was sabotaged by TNT and cancelled way too early, couldn't JMS continue Crusade in another form? I mean, Greg Weisman continued Gargoyles as a comic, Whedon did the same for Buffy, Angel and (I've heard it's finally coming) Firefly, while there are continuations of several ST series' as novels.
Plus, JMS has gotten used to writing for comics. It's something I really would have expected him to have done by now.

Or has it something to do with the rights?
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Old January 9 2013, 03:32 AM   #13
Jan
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

Kai "the spy wrote: View Post
Speaking of which, I've been wondering, while it's a shame the show was sabotaged by TNT and cancelled way too early, couldn't JMS continue Crusade in another form? I mean, Greg Weisman continued Gargoyles as a comic, Whedon did the same for Buffy, Angel and (I've heard it's finally coming) Firefly, while there are continuations of several ST series' as novels.
Plus, JMS has gotten used to writing for comics. It's something I really would have expected him to have done by now.

Or has it something to do with the rights?
Partly. The only rights JMS owns are the feature film rights (and even then, since WB owns all TV rights, it would be hard for JMS to work with another studio to do a feature.) At one point one of the RPG publishers (Mongoose) reportedly wanted to do B5 comics but it was indicated to them that DC had first dibs.

Another part may have to do with how DC comics operated back before JMS was a Guy in comics. When the first comics were coming out, JMS had editorial control over the scripts *except* for the ones he wrote which were 'edited' by somebody used to editing kids comics. When JMS protested, he was informed that that was DCs policy. So *now* JMS could probably do as he pleases but not back then.

Nowadays you'd think it would be easier since WB owns DC and JMS has good relations with Dan Didio except...each division of WB competes with each other so there wouldn't be cooperation when it came to license fees and such.

As for novels, sadly none of the books sold as well as the publishers wanted (no, of course it didn't have anything to do with a lack of marketing!) so no publisher is interested even if (reportedly) WBs license fees for B5 weren't too high.

Jan
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Old January 9 2013, 03:34 AM   #14
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

Kai "the spy wrote: View Post
I wouldn't want to do it. I'd want to watch it, or experience it in another medium.

Speaking of which, I've been wondering, while it's a shame the show was sabotaged by TNT and cancelled way too early, couldn't JMS continue Crusade in another form? I mean, Greg Weisman continued Gargoyles as a comic, Whedon did the same for Buffy, Angel and (I've heard it's finally coming) Firefly, while there are continuations of several ST series' as novels.
Plus, JMS has gotten used to writing for comics. It's something I really would have expected him to have done by now.

Or has it something to do with the rights?
Yea, WB owns about the whole ball of wax. Now that he's got his own Production Office/House, he could probably lease the comic license and produce them. Likewise with the more expensive to produce Novel, TV or Movie licenses, but, I doubt he's got those kind of resources quite yet.
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Old January 9 2013, 06:32 AM   #15
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

I'm new to the who B5 rights BS, but what I don't get is why hint that season 4 is the last, only to continue on with a season 5 and a spinoff, then just screw with the spinoff? Did the network get a new boss?
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