Back when Crusade first aired on TNT (June 6, 1999 thru September 9, 1999), I was disappointed with some of the episodes (marked with #).
TNT Airing Order: 1. #War Zone#, 2. #The Long Road#, 3. #The Well of Forever#, 4. The Path of Sorrows, 5. Patterns of the Soul, 6. #Ruling from the Tomb#, 7. The Rules of the Game, 8. Appearances and Other Deceits, 9. Racing the Night, 10. The Memory of War, 11. #The Needs of Earth#, 12. #Visitors from Down the Street#, and 13. Each Night I Dream of Home.
Sure, each episode had it's good points, but it seemed like the show had no clear sense of direction, and the episode order seemed "off." The uniform change (from black to gray) took place in "Appearances and Other Deceits," yet other episodes which aired after it, looked like they should have preceded it. The virus screen used in "Patterns of the Soul" isn't discovered until "The Memory of War." Lochley and Gideon first meet in "Ruling from the Tomb," jump each other's bones in "The Rules of the Game," and then are on a first date in "Each Night I Dream of Home." Stuff like that.
Then, I found out the reason WHY the show had no clear sense of direction, and the episode order seemed off, TNT-Atlanta Notes. The last five episodes aired, were not meant to be aired last. "A Call to Arms" (the Babylon 5 movie) was supposed to be aired before the first Crusade episode (which was supposed to be "Racing the Night"). "War Zone" was an episode demanded by TNT because first they were not going to re-air "A Call to Arms," and wanted an intro. episode, and then decided to air "A Call to Arms" AFTER "War Zone", which makes no sense at all. "War Zone" was never supposed to exist, and worse yet, it took the place of an episode that WAS supposed to exist, either "Value Judgements" (which would have given us a Bester episode), or better yet "To the Ends of the Earth" (a real blockbuster JMS-written episode that would also have, among other things, made sense out of the uniform change).
In 2001, when Sci-Fi got the re-run rights for Crusade, they had the chance to make things right, but DIDN'T. Instead of re-starting Crusade, picking up the dangling threads, and finishing the first season, Sci-Fi chose to just air Crusade reruns and go with a pilot for a new series in the Babylon 5 universe. That made no sense, storywise. Crusade fans have been left hanging since September of 1999. Well, at least Sci-Fi asked JMS for better airing order.
Sci-Fi Airing Order: 1. Racing the Night, 2. The Needs of Earth, 3. The Memory of War, 4. The Long Road, 5. Visitors from Down the Street, 6. The Well of Forever, 7. Each Night I Dream of Home, 8. Patterns of the Soul, 9. The Path of Sorrows, 10. Ruling from the Tomb, 11. The Rules of the Game, 12. War Zone, and 13. Appearances and Other Deceits.
The episode order JMS came up with for Sci-Fi was much better....(but I'd move "War Zone" to first, because that's where it chronologically belongs.)....than the TNT order, but because of TNT past interference (the uniform changes, the looping, etc.), and the fact that only 13 of 22 episodes were ever completed, there is no possible 100% correct airing order for the existing 13 episodes. These episodes would have never aired back-to-back. Unfortunately, the DVD set uses the deeply flawed TNT airing order.
Still, even given all these problems, I've come to like almost all of the episodes I initially disliked (except parts of "Ruling from the Tomb"). More importantly, the episodes have caused me to really care about the characters, and want to see their story told. If you ever got a chance to read the three unfilmed scripts (Fiona Avery's "Value Judgements," and JMS's "To the Ends of the Earth" and "End of the Line"), you'd know some of directions Crusade would have taken, and would realize what a crime it is that Crusade was not re-started.
THE CRUSADE STORY MUST BE TOLD.
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