Crusade - You are the producer

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Bry_Sinclair, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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?
     
  2. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Keep the original black uniforms. Those gray ones they switched to were totally bell boy.
     
  3. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

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    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.

    Jan
     
  4. OmahaStar

    OmahaStar Disrespectful of his betters Admiral

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    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.
     
  5. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    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.
     
  6. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    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.
     
  7. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    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 :drool:
     
  8. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  9. Admiral2

    Admiral2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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...
     
  10. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I would have just given them the same EarthForce uniforms used on B5. Oh, and fixed the rank system. :p
     
  11. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You mean like the one it already had :)
     
  12. It's Christmastime Again - Kai "the spy"

    It's Christmastime Again - Kai "the spy" Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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?
     
  13. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

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    ...is insane. --JMS
    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
     
  14. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    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.
     
  15. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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?
     
  16. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If I were in charge, I would cancel it. The premise wasn't very interesting, the potential for a Babylon 5 spinoff wasn't there, the cast was not particularly good and the whole thing would have needed a budget that it simply couldn't afford. I can't think of any way to make it work.
     
  17. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Apocalypse Box vs Technomage.

    Gideon had a complete asshole on each shoulder whispering bad advice into his soul.
     
  18. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

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    ...is insane. --JMS
    Entirely new network, actually. B5 was originally on the PTEN (Prime Time Entertainment) Network, a consortium of independant TV stations. By the end of season three, the structure had begun to crumble and there were just barely enough stations signed on to finance a fourth season.

    It wasn't just a hint that season four would be last, that's what JMS and Doug Netter were flat-out told by WB. Then TNT came along wanting to get the rerun rights and ended up giving us the fifth season as well as the TV movies (apparently Doug Netter's quite the salesman). As it was an already successful property, they left the producers alone and even contracted for the spin-off.

    Sometime near the beginning of filming the first few episodes of 'Crusade', TNT got the results of a study that showed that the B5 property wasn't increasing their viewership. When B5 came on, the regular TNT viewers went elsewhere and the B5 fans came on. When B5 went off, the B5 viewers left and the TNT folks came in. Since advertising revenue rates are determined by numbers, TNT decided they wanted out and they proceeded to make demands that made it impossible to make the show they supposedly wanted...so they shut it down.

    Jan
     
  19. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ Which, BTW, is exactly what happened with Joss Whedon's Firefly.
     
  20. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    A one line suggestion that breaks the OP's rules:
    TNT agrees to let JMS run it his way, so long as he hires an experienced script editor who understands the material: Larry DiTellio would be one choice, an SF-inclined veteran of NYPD Blue or similar would be another.
    But there has to be a script editor/line producer who's in a position to say "Joe, this is rubbish, rewrite it. or we don't make it."