When Babylon 5
finished its promised five-year run, it was obvious some things had been left out. Numerous plotlines lay casually unresolved and way too many "hints" looked ahead to an ominous future. With the Shadows dispatched at the end of the Great War, the final season revealed a race of hangers-on who stayed behind to continue the mischief-making. The biggest clue that more was to follow, came in the fourth TV movie A Call To Arms
which introduced several new characters into the mix. Here we saw the Drakh's final "Planet Killer" let loose in Earth's atmosphere--a deadly virus that will take five years to adapt to human DNA, and then wipe it out. The rather high-stakes solution offered by Earthgov is to send an experimental starship, the Excalibur, out into the galaxy to find a cure. The Excalibur's crew is headed up by Gary Cole as Capt. Matthew Gideon; a no-nonsense leader whose principles seem to be challenged every show ("I'm not subtle. I'm not pretty. And I'll piss off a lot of people along the way.") Along for the ride are Daniel Dae Kim as the secretly telepathic Lt. John Matheson, Peter Woodward as quixotic Technomage Galen, and Carrie Dobro as the feisty criminal Dureena Nafeel. Although in theory there are members of the heroic Rangers at their side, the initial idea that this series should have the feel of an Arthurian quest clearly didn't come to pass. Suffering a plague of its own in studio indecisiveness, Crusade
managed a run of 13 episodes which during post-production were juggled out of chronological order. It should be taken into consideration when viewing that the first eight were filmed last, so the "redesign" seen in the final five is in fact the opposite of what it seems.
Technomage Galen tries the crew's patience with what seems a wild goose chase to "The Well of Forever". While Lt. Matheson undergoes telepathic testing, Captain Gideon ponders the Well's possibilities. Nobody but Galen really knows why they are there. "Ruling from the Tomb" sees the Excalibur returning to Mars for an update on the Drakh plague, and the race to find a bomb. Guest stars are B5 regulars Dr. Franklin and Captain Lochley. --Paul Tonks
Two more episodes from the 'Babylon 5' spin-off. In 'The Well of Forever', Galen commandeers the Excalibur in order to seek out the Well of Forever, a mystical hyperspatial crossroads. 'The Path of Sorrows' sees Captain Gideon determined to transport an apparently trapped alien life form onto his ship. However, the crew become discomfited when it is revealed that the strange creature has the power to peer into their souls.