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The Babylon 5: Crusade Episode Guide
Sandy Van Densen and Loriann DeGiacomo
Lightning Rod Limited, 204 pages

No Cover
Lightning Rod Limited
Other Lightning Rod Limited titles include:
Babylon 5 Episode Guide for Season One by Angela C.N. Hyatt and Ashley J. Harper
Farscape Episode Guide for Season One by Talis Pelucir
Farscape Episode Guide for Season Two by Talis Pelucir
Farscape Episode Guide for Season Three by Talis Pelucir
Farscape Episode Guide for Season Four by Talis Pelucir
Firefly Episode Guide by Marguerite Noyes
Soap Episode Guide for Season One by Jo Vandewall
Xena Warrior Princess Episode Guide for Season One by Ashley Harper
Past Feature Reviews
A review by David Maddox

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"Who are you? What do you want? Where are you going? Who do you serve and who do you trust?"
Cryptic words from a cryptic character that introduced a very cryptic series. In 1999, fans of J. Michael Straczynski's amazing epic Babylon 5 were thrilled to see Crusade, the continuing adventures in the universe of Narns, Centauri and Mimbari. New characters were introduced, a brand new ship was commissioned and a frightening quest was undertaken; to save earth before the Drakh plague wipes out all of humanity. And our heroes only had five years to do it!

The character line-up was impressive. No-nonsense Captain Matthew Gideon at the helm, telepath John Matheson by his side, stalwart Dr. Sarah Chambers in the medical bay, despicably likable Max Eilerson, good-hearted thief Dureena Nafeel and the mysterious and enigmatic Technomage Galen crewed the Excalibur. Unfortunately, it was not to be. The series ended after a mere 13 episode run on TNT. Although picked up years later by the Sci-Fi network, no new episodes have ever been commissioned.

With all this in mind, Sandy Van Densen and Loriann DeGiacomo present The Babylon 5: Crusade Episode Guide: An Unofficial, Independent Guide with Critiques. It's a very well thought-out piece of work as far as unofficial guides go. With no pictures or graphics available they rely heavily on the written word, giving a brief review of each episode then an in-depth review, as well as giving some history and accounts that the series itself was rife with problems.

Spin-offs are never easy and this one proved no different. There was a lack of promotion from TNT, carry-over member Captain Elizabeth Lochley from Babylon 5's final season only appeared in three episodes and then there was the episodes air order debacle, a problem that has never been completely sorted out.

Van Densen and DeGiacomo are indeed fans of the series as well as sci-fi in general, having written several independent guides to Farscape, Angel and Red Dwarf to name a few. As far as Crusade goes one of the writers is "a huge fan, while the other merely tolerates the show" as the forward states. Regardless they are both well versed in the mythology of the series and their love for Straczynski's world is evident. The writers REALLY like the Technomage Trilogy by Jeanne Cavelos, having mentioned it several time throughout the book.

A lot of what the writers say does border on the nit-picking, with continuity flaws and opinions of character decisions. They may seem harsh with some of their comments, but their strict grading scale is something that the sci-fi realm could stand to see more of on television.

This book is definitely for the true Babylon 5 fan, a casual reader will not get to much out of it besides a lot of spoilers. But as the series hasn't been released on video or DVD, it might be the only way to experience the episodes. There's so little Crusade literature out there, it is refreshing to be able to look at what little there is of this fabulous series with some new perspectives.

Copyright © 2003 David Maddox

David Maddox
Science fiction enthusiast David Maddox has been many things, including Star Trek characters and the Riddler in a Batman stunt show. He holds a degree in Cinema from San Francisco State University, and has written several articles for various SF sites as well as the Star Wars Insider. He spends his time working on screenplays and stories as well as acting in any venue he can. Residing in Los Angeles, he continues to be part of this wacky business called show.


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