Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2005-02-16 Entry: "We're Off To The Crusades"

So, the end of "A Call To Arms" sees Sheridan desperately trying to mobilize a fleet to defend Earth from the Drakh attack and the Shadow planet-killer. Of course, after the President's recent craziness, getting Lochley to accept what's happening is a bit tough! It's also a bit tough to get Garibaldi to believe him...

Fortunately, Garibaldi finds the intelligence leak that has been feeding information to the Drakh.

You know, I said this yesterday, but the music for this is really annoying. And it continues onto the series, so I'm going to be bitching about it for another 13 episodes yet.

Tony Todd doesn't quite make it, but he does manage to activate the planet-killer before it reaches Earth. However, the Drakh have a backup plan - a genetically engineered virus spread throughout the atmosphere. It'll take five years before it adjusts itself to Earth's ecosystem, at which time it'll wipe out all life on the planet.

So we have a quarantine. And we have a single destroyer - the Excalibur - set to go off and find a cure... well, okay, I'm getting ahead of myself, because that won't happen until the start of the series.

Meanwhile, I had two guest stars to point out - Marjean Holden, playing the Excalibur's navigation officer here, goes on to play the doctor in the series. The other is Carlos Bernard, who was the communication officer here, and was Tony Almeida on 24.

And then the commentary, which I'm not going to narrate... wow, okay, this is a highly technical commentary... they're doing a whole bunch of talking about lenses and depth of field and focus.

So, on to Crusade, and we open with the quarantine taking effect on Earth, and Daniel Dae Kim having to put down a fight with a bunch of Mars born crew over whether they should go back to Earth to enforce the quarantine. Unfortunately for them, the Captain is Sheriff Lucas Buck... well, okay, Matthew Gideon (Gary Cole), so they're not going to get very far.

Here they are back at Earth... and it doesn't look good - there's a lot of wreckage floating around from the recent battle.

And the titles, with the important questions: Who are you? What do you want? Where are you going? Who do you serve? And who do you trust?... okay, Vorlons and the Shadows take the first two, and I vaguely remember the where are you going question being used in B5 at some point, but I don't remember where...

Anyway, "War Zone" sees Gideon being summoned to Mars. And Galen gets the Kosh line - "and so it begins!" Meanwhile, an Earthforce destroyer is chasing one of the Drakh ships and intends to force it down on to a nearby planet - that succeeds, but the destroyer doesn't make it.

And there are people on the planet - well, okay, archaeologists with IPX. Cue Max Eilerson.

Mars, and Gideon gets a recap of the exposition that ended A Call To Arms. And then he's given the job of commanding the Excalibur, and finding the cure. He's only got a partial choice of crew so we'll see how well that works out!

Back on Ceti 4, really bad CGI Drakh take out a shuttle that was surveying their crashed ship.

Doctor Sarah Chambers is assigned as head of the medical team on Gideon's ship, but Matthew is allowed to choose the archaeologist and linguist. Oh, and Dureena's here as well and is insisting she's supposed to be on the team. Matheson (Dae Kim) is also desired by Gideon - he was his first officer before, and he wants him again, even though he's a telepath.

They've simplified Dureena's makeup from the film... I presume for cost purposes, and because it looked a bit dopey. And Galen is pursuing the Excalibur in his own ship.

Matthew gets ordered to go and invetigate the downed Drakh ship, and Galen makes contact - apparently he and Gideon have met before.

Ceti 4 - they arrive, they kill a bunch of Drakh but reinforcements are on the way to pick up the Drakh councillor, they meet up with Eilerson and the archaeologists, and find out Eilerson has a knack for languages, including being able to translate the Drakh message.

Then cue lots of battle scenes - first a shootout in the Drakh ship, then a space battle, and a couple of brief attacks by Galen, just to save the Captain and crew's life. They do manage to capture the Drakh Captain, and Eilerson has to do lots of translating.

Ah, Who Do You Serve is the Drakh question.

And two new recruits - Trace, the shuttle pilot from Ceti 4, and Eilerson, who isn't going to like it.

And the Captain's past? 9 years ago, he almost died, hanging in space. He witnesses the exodus of the Technomages, and one of them - obviously Galen - saved his life. But how did he come to be hanging in space? Ah, his ship was destroyed... How? Why?

Galen appears to be an outcast... he was threatening to expose the other Technomages hiding place, and now he's got to find his way on his own... but he's decided to interfere again. And he asks the questions of Gideon from the titles... and seems to be disconcerted that Matthew doesn't have a good answer to the last two (serve and trust).

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