Not enough stuff blew up.
That's the semi-official reason why the pointy-haired executives
at TNT decided to cancel the television series Crusade after only
13 episodes had aired. The failure of Crusade may seem baffling in
light of the rich success that its parent show (Babylon 5) enjoyed, but
it's just a textbook case of corporate mismanagement. The execs couldn't
understand the plot of Crusade without having their hands held through
it, and so they ordered series creator J. Michael Straczynski to insert
entire trucks full of dry exposition that didn't advance the story
at all. After that, they decided that the series was too dry and
needed many more exciting fight scenes and stuff blowing up to make
it more interesting.
When Straczynski moved the original Babylon 5 series to TNT after
its fourth season, the executives at TNT mostly left it alone--it was an
established series, after all, and so they smartly decided not to fix what wasn't broken. When production
on Crusade began a few years later, since it was going to be a TNT-run
show from the get-go, TNT insisted on trying to mold the show--something
they never understood--into something it wasn't, couldn't be, and shouldn't
have been. It should be noted that TNT is known primarily for two
things: Westerns and pro wrestling. And they wonder why the
JMS was (understandably!) rather bitter about all of this, and as
soon as TNT's rights to Babylon 5 expired he sold them to the Sci-Fi
Network. SFN has thus far given Straczynski much more trust and
leeway as far as his B5-related projects go, and the first SFN-produced
B5 movie (Legend of the Rangers) was a marked improvement over everything
that had been produced by TNT.
Here's a nice quote from a usenet post written by Straczynski that nicely summarizes what he was up against:
I did what I could with what they demanded, and tried to fight as much as I could. For instance, in one scene, where Gideon tells the others to meet him in the conference room, the TNT note was, "How does Gideon know where the conference room is? We should have a scene where he's shown the conference room."
My reply: "He knows where the conference room is because when he's escorted to the bridge by Matheson, *HE CAN SEE IT FROM HIS CHAIR*."
Anyway, this is the "official" ordering of the 13 filmed and aired episodes,
listed by the dates on which they originally aired on TNT. The
numbering in parentheses is the order that the series creator, J. Michael
, recommends the series be viewed in; it's also the
order in which the Sci-Fi Network
has re-aired the episodes.
(12) War Zone
(4) The Long Road
(6) The Well of Forever
(9) The Path of Sorrows
(8) Patterns of the Soul
(10) Ruling from the Tomb
(11) The Rules of the Game
(13) Appearances and Other Deceits
(1) Racing the Night
(3) The Memory of War
(2) The Needs of Earth
(5) Visitors from Down the Street
(7) Each Night I Dream of Home