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Crusade: The Complete Series

356 customer reviews

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(Dec 07, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In 2267 the Earth is quarantined, having been infected with a deadly plague by an attacking alien force. Scientists estimate that it will kill every inhabitant within 5 years, not nearly enough time for a cure to be developed. So the planet's only hope lies with the Excalibur, an advanced prototype starship sent out to search ancient alien ruins for their former inhabitant's secrets, hoping that somewhere out there a cure can be found.

The first and only spin-off of Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski's short-lived sci-fi series Crusade had its roots in the B5 television movie A Call to Arms, in which Earth was battling a Drakh invasion at the end of the Shadow Wars. When Crusade begins, the Drakh have released a deadly virus that threatens to wipe out all 10 billion humans living on Earth unless a cure can be found in five years. To take on this monumental task, Captain Matthew Gideon (Gary Cole) is assigned command of the state-of-the-art Destroyer-class ship Excalibur. His crew includes telepath John Matheson (Daniel Dae Kim); pompous but brilliant archaeologist-linguist Max Eilerson (David Allen Brooks); Dureena, a member of the Thieves' Guild and the last surviving member of her species (Carrie Dobro); medical officer Sarah Chambers (Marjean Holden); and technomage Galen (Peter Woodward).

While Babylon 5 had five years to develop into a powerful saga, Crusade had its plug pulled after a mere 13 episodes (which were reordered for TNT's broadcast), and the series never really got its footing. Galen often took center stage, then disappeared for several episodes. Matheson was underutilized (other than to provide fans with clues about what happened in the Psi-Wars after B5 ended), and tough-guy Gideon bounced back and forth between his desire to save the human race and his own moral code. There were some good action scenes and intriguing concepts (developed in conjunction with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory). Special effects sometimes were impressive and sometimes showed budget constraints, and we never really saw the power and scope of the mile-and-a-half-long ship, other than the cool bullet cars used to traverse its length. But it did have its moments. If B5 was the spiritual companion to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine with its space-station setting and long story arc, Crusade was more like a traditional Star Trek setting, with mostly stand-alone episodes involving first contact with various species (even if, due to the nature of the Excalibur's quest, such species were usually extinct). And there were occasional tantalizing hints of a broader conspiracy that might have allowed the series to soar. Regardless, B5 fans will welcome even a brief opportunity to revisit this universe, especially when the Excalibur visits the station in "The Rules of the Game." John Sheridan's ex-wife Captain Elizabeth Lochley (Tracy Scoggins) even earned a spot in the opening credits for her appearance in a few episodes. --David Horiuchi

Special Features

  • All 13 episodes from the 1999 season
  • The Making of Crusade - a behind-the-scenes featurette
  • Forging Excalibur - learn about the starship from the inside out

Product Details

  • Actors: Gary Cole, Peter Woodward
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: December 7, 2004
  • Run Time: 576 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (356 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00061QJSK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,164 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Crusade: The Complete Series" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

380 of 394 people found the following review helpful By Iona Sun on October 8, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Crusade was a well casted series with the potential for a great future.

It started slow like B5 without a lot of definition to the story arc, and the special effects were not all that at times... but the show had already developed a community feel to the well drawn characters, and as usual the dialog was top notch per jms standards.

After the cancellation jms eventually laid out what would've been the future of the story arc, and I gotta say that with this cast this is one story I would've loved to seen come to fruition.

As for the reference in the following review that the show was cancelled due to lack of popularity, this does not appear to be the case at all.

According to jms (and granted its a biased source, but he's not one to modify the facts), TNT just decided the show didn't fit into their type of programming. Audiences were tuning in for that show only, and not staying. So they tried to mess with the show and then eventually pulled the plug. And because they don't didn't want to look stupid if the show were a success elsewhere, they wouldn't let the rights go for any reasonable sum of money.

Crusade was a good show with great potential and a good cast. The show grew on me with repeated viewings. Not to be missed - especially by B5 fans.
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235 of 249 people found the following review helpful By Michael Malloy on September 22, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Crusade had the perfect cast, the perfect creator and primary writer (J. Michael Strazynski), wonderful characters, beautiful music, and it was killed before a single episode was aired. I admire the creator of the series and loathe those who killed it.

If you have seen any of Babylon 5 or the special movies made for TV related to Babylon 5, you know the quality of production and writing potential Crusade had going for it. Crusade was to be another arc of an unfolding story from JMS within the Babylon 5 universe. In the precious 13 episodes that were completed the viewer gets only a small look at what might have been. The Babylon 5 TV Movie "A Call to Arms" was the lead in, not really a pilot, but a way of setting the stage for Crusade with some characters from both series.

If there is justice in the universe, JMS will one day be permitted to make Crusade as he envisioned it. Then the rest of us will watch it, and later when it is available, we will purchase it.
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161 of 175 people found the following review helpful By TV conoisseur on September 25, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Crusade was to put it shortly a screw up from day one. The problem was not with the creator, cast, central idea, stories or potential for it to last 5 seasons which was the plan all of which were excellent. As other reviewers have stated if this had gone all the way I am sure it would proudly have stood alongside Babylon 5. Instead some cretinous short sited moronic powers that be tried to put pressure on JMS to turn this into Baywatch in space. He quite rightly pulled the plug rather than watch the show degenerate into something it was not meant to be. Over the course of the 13 episodes we were only given tantalising glimpses of what could have been. Gary Cole in particular was excellent as the mercurial Matthew Gideon. I knew he was absolutely right for the role as he brought that essential blend of authority, and humour while being of-kilter at the same time. The rest of the cast over the 13 episodes showed signs of settling well into their characters. The search for the cure to the Drakh plague was only the beginning of the story and was due to take in the long term consequences of shadow Technology not just the virus. Buy this set and wonder what would have come next. I personally imagine that Gideon would have found the cure and at the end married Captain Lochley. One can only hope that the story mght be finished in some way at some time but in the meantime I will make up my own ending. Buy this set and dream. Peace. Out.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By M. Hart on November 24, 2004
Format: DVD
In 1999, the creator of the sci-fi TV series "Babylon 5", J. Michael Straczynski, produced a 2-hour made-for-TV film entitled "Babylon 5: A Call To Arms". The premise of "Babylon 5: A Call To Arms" was that several years following the Shadow War, which was part of the plot of the original "Babylon 5" TV series (1994-1998), allies of the departed Shadow race decide to avenge the destruction of the Shadow home world known as Z'ha'dum (pronounced Za'hadoom). Captain Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner) becomes aware that Earth is threatened by an imminent attack from the former Shadow allies lead by the reptilian race known as the Drakh, who intend to use a powerful Shadow "planet-killer" to destroy Earth. Captain Sheridan gathers what forces he can to defend Earth, including the use of two prototype warships that utilize Vorlon technology. One of the prototype warships is destroyed during the attack upon the "planet-killer" above Earth, but the Drakh resort to a biological weapon instead that unleashes a deadly virus upon the entire population of Earth. With few people not infected, Earth decides to use its only remaining Vorlon-inspired warship, named Excalibur, to search for a cure before the virus completely destroys all life on Earth within 5 years. Hence, the short-lived TV series "Crusade" was born in 1999, with the intent of being a 5-year long series about the Excalibur crew's search for the cure. Unfortunately, creative conflicts between TNT (that TV channel that originally aired the series) and J. Michael Straczynski lead to show's premature cancellation after only 13 episodes. Also, no other channel had the opportunity of picking up the series in spite of the fact that scripts for three more episodes had been written, but were never filmed.Read more ›
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