Crusade: Behind the Scenes
Publication Date: February 18, 2010
"As-It-Happened" Interviews with the Actors, Designers,
Directors, Producers and Writers Detailing the
Creation (and Destruction) of the Babylon 5 Spin-off Series
It's here. The entire behind-the-scenes story of Crusade as told by the actors and crew...while the show was actually filming.
From the first frame of film until the last, these cast and crew interviews occurred "as-it-happened" so they are free of any revisionism. Nothing is forgotten. No detail spared.
Even better, the interviews in this book contain 70% never-before-seen material...and the 30% that was seen was published in UK-based magazines back in 1999.
Nothing held back.
- 30 never before seen photos and drawings.
- A complete story description of an unknown episode called "The Walls of Hell." The would-be writer of this episode, Larry DiTillio, details point-by-point would have happened.
- Who the medieval and modern literary characters were that J. Michael Straczynski had in mind when he created Galen.
- Why the White House had to intervene when Peter Woodward was cast as Galen.
- The one reason JMS rejected virtually all the women that auditioned to play Dureena Nafeel.
- Specifics about how the Excalibur set was designed to facilitate filming and how that affected the look and feel of the show.
- The total number of Apocalypse Boxes in the Babylon 5 universe (hint: it's a lot more than one.)
- Why the character of Lt. Matheson was not defined as man, women, young, old, or by ethnicity when the show was cast.
- JMS' thinking when he made Matthew Gideon a gambler, a renegade and secretive character.
- Why TNT demanded certain sets and costumes be changed during the first hiatus.
- Why Captain Gideon was gunned down in the unfilmed season finale.
- Why Dureena's contact lenses were made less scary between the filming of "A Call to Arms" and the start of Crusade.
- The reason Trace Miller (the shuttle pilot) appeared in only two episodes when it was expected that he would be a series regular.
- Dr. Sarah Chambers's original name when the show was first conceived.
- Why Edward Woodward, father of Peter Woodward, was cast as Alwyn.
- Peter Woodward's other behind the scenes vocations and how they related to his acting.
- Details about how the actors really felt about working with directors Mike Vejar and Janet Greek.
- How J. Michael Straczynski prepared the Crusade actors for the type of stardom that comes with being in a popular science fiction series.
- The ways in which many of the cast members found out about the production shut down and Crusade's cancellation...and their reactions.
- Why the Crusade producers had to fly to Chicago to interview a particular actor before they could offer the role.
- Which Crusade character would have been possessed by the Apocalypse Box if the series had continued.
- Gary Cole's thoughts on how Captain Gideon measures up to other characters he's played, like Mike Brady in the Brady Bunch Movies.
- The histories some of the actors made up to help them get to know their characters.
- The specific inspiration for the black uniforms that replaced the gray ones.
- How the cast of Crusade first met and what happened at that meeting.
- What aspect of Crusade made J. Michael Straczynski happiest (and what didn't).
- Which cast members were familiar with Babylon 5 and which were not.
- What back story JMS give his cast to help them develop their characters.
- How JMS "erased the line" between the actors and their characters.
- How long JMS originally intended to keep viewers in the dark about the true nature of the Apocalypse Box.
- What iconic TV personality's voice does JMS liken to Daniel Dae Kim's.
- How production designer John Iacovelli planned to realize alien worlds on indoor sets and how he would have differentiated the look of various planets from one another.
- What specifics the famed Jet Propulsion Lab contributed to the alien-specific aspects of Crusade.
- Why "War Zone" replaced "Racing the Night" as the premiere episode.
- Why Crusade premiered in June when most television shows debut in September or January.
- How the directors and producers on the show describe the differences between Gary Cole and Bruce Boxleitner as a leading men.
- Carrie Dobro's candid feelings about her less-than-glamorous role as the resident tunnel rat.
- How directing Crusade differed from directing Star Trek, according to two of Crusade's directors.
- Richard Biggs's candid thoughts about playing Dr. Franklin on Crusade, without the familiar trappings of Babylon 5.
- How the cast and crew felt about the unusual situation of an entire season of the show being produced before the first episode ever aired.
- The movie that John Copeland likened to the episode "Ruling from the Tomb."
- Why composer Evan H. Chen never listened to Christopher Franke's score from Babylon 5.
- How actor Tim Choate landed the role of Polix and how he differentiated it from his Babylon 5 character, Zathras.
- The disappointment of the original Drakh makeup.
- Details of Peter Woodward's relationship with actress Judi Dench.
- Why Peter Woodward would get beaten-up on film sets when not acting.
- How Gary Cole built his character from a forty-five-page script.
- The starting point design-wise for the Excalibur uniforms.
- Why Eilerson is in civilian clothes instead of a uniform.
- How the Babylon 5 props were redesigned because Crusade was five years further into the future.
- Whose idea it was to put the camera dolly tracks in the ceiling.
- The secret's out — find out what the actors tended to do with their uniform costume pockets.
Doctor Stephen Franklin
David Allen Brooks
Evan H. Chen
Polix (and Zathras!)
Captain Matthew Gideon
Special Makeup Effects Artist
Doctor Sarah Chambers
Daniel Dae Kim
Lieutenant John Matheson
Steve R. Moore
Visual Effects Supervisor
Makeup Effects Creator
Editor's notes are included throughout the book.
These notes describe what is happening in the Crusade production time line at the point of each interview. This way each question and response has context.
713 questions asked
30 never-before-seen images
all in 1 book
CRUSADE: Behind the Scenes does NOT contain any of the show's scripts. It is a compilation of interviews and images.
Crusade: Other Voices, Volume 1
Publication Date: April 13, 2011
What can you expect to find inside CRUSADE: OTHER VOICES VOLUME 1?
A brand new CRUSADE adventure in a never-before-seen--or even known about--SECOND SEASON script (What second season? That's our point!). This script was discovered in 2010, 11 years after it was written.
Oh, did we mentioned that said script was written by Peter Woodward--as in the fabulous British actor who portrayed Galen the techno-mage? As many of you know, Peter is a successful screenwriter and this CRUSADE story is a quirky adventure so good that JMS slated it for the second season.
The script is called "Little Bugs Have Lesser Bugs" which reveals –
- What the EXCALIBUR crew watched on the vid (23rd century TV). (It's not what you'd expect!)
- Find out if "that day on Mars with Louise meant anything to Brad"...and, more importantly, who the heck ARE Louise and Brad?
- The dramatic way Galen gets the attention of the EXCALIBUR crew, causing a panic in the process.
- The one thing Galen can do in handcuffs to get a reaction from EXCALIBUR security. (Hint: Kids love this.)
- The introduction of a new planet whose surface makes a disconcerting crunching sound when walked on; you'll cringe when you find out why.
- What Dureena, and other natives of Zander Prime, have twice the normal number of.
- Why Galen was willing to swallow a large, living bug.
In Woodward's introduction, written exclusively for this book, you'll find out:
- Why Peter was compelled to write an episode of CRUSADE and what he thought about seeing it again 12 years later.
- The reason he chose to feature bugs so prominently in the story.
- Why JMS failed to comment on the script when it was originally submitted and how Peter interpreted the lack of response.
The other "voice" in this volume is that of Fiona Avery--BABYLON 5's reference editor--who wrote:
"Patterns of the Soul" (where Gideon confronted Earth colonists who might have been infected with the plague while escaping the planet) and "The Well of Forever" (in which Galen hijacked the EXCALIBUR to find a mythical site hidden in hyperspace).
We've included not one, but two drafts of each of these episodes to showcase the changes made between a writer's first draft and the final production script. This way, no aspect of CRUSADE's history will be unaccounted for. Also included is a complete analysis of each of these episodes, each one exceeding 40 pages. In these scripts, you will discover –
- What real-world, every day inconvenience inspired "Patterns of the Soul." (You'll definitely relate.)
- How TNT wanted Dr. Chambers and Dureena to become "two tough women."
- The obsession Captain Gideon indulged in the privacy of his quarters.
- What key scene was missing from the earliest version of "Patterns of the Soul."
- Find out what Dureena did with the Old One after he died.
- What "natural substances" were prized by Dureena's people.
- What the Prozeta Corporation was originally named.
- Which BABYLON 5 character Captain Gideon thought was behind the EXCALIBUR's diversion to Theta 49.
- Cut from the script: the scene where Dureena's people watched her depart Theta 49, and how they reacted.
- The big switch: which EXCALIBUR crew member originally betrayed another in the first draft of "Patterns."
- How a dream suggested "The Well of Forever."
- Which new set TNT wanted to see in "The Well of Forever" and who they wanted to inhabit it.
- Whose husband was originally scheduled to direct "Well." (Hint: think Babylon 5.)
- Which memorable subplot WASN'T in the first draft of "Well."
- Ultimate trivia: the creepy diet of the Morcetti.
- Trimmed for time: Galen's explanation of how the rock indicated the location of the Well of Forever.
- The book Dureena was reading prior to the search for the Well...and what wisdom she took from it.
- What experience was described as "like being stripped naked in front of a room full of strangers."
- What happens immediately after you escape an amorous alien jellyfish (a moment not included in the episode).
- Lost in revision: the action Max Eilerson took after the Excalibur was molested by the Fen.
- Dureena's philosophy on the aspect of our own deaths we CAN control.
- Galen's never-uttered-onscreen "power word." (It's not abracadabra.)
PLUS nine pages of never-before-collected artwork showcasing:
- The EXCALIBUR recreation deck that made its debut in "The Well of Forever."
- Detailed close-ups of Galen's flyer. Learn more about the nuances of the ship.
- Concept designs for the over-sexed inhabitants of hyperspace. See them in their totality!
- Annotated designs for the Well of Forever that highlight aspects of it that could not be appreciated when seen in the episode.
Crusade: Other Voices, Volume 2
Publication Date: May 18, 2011
This release completes the 2-volume CRUSADE: OTHER VOICES series.
If this book weren't already titled CRUSADE: OTHER VOICES, we could have named it "THE LOST TALES" because this volume includes THREE never-before-published CRUSADE scripts:
1) "Value Judgments," is the infamous unfilmed CRUSADE script featuring the return of BABYLON 5's Alfred Bester.
2) "Tried and True," features a one-on-one confrontation between Dureena and her Thieves' Guild mentor, Mafeek of Tripani 7 (if the name sounds familiar, it's because he was mentioned in BABYLON 5: A CALL TO ARMS).
3) "War Story," is the first episode of an unfinished three-part story that would have seen Dureena abducted by a mysterious alien ship after a huge battle with the Drakh.
There's also "Ruling From the Tomb," in which Captain Gideon and the EXCALIBUR crew seek to capture a murderer bent on derailing a conference seeking a cure for the Drakh plague. For this episode, we've also included writer Peter David's original outlines, one featuring the return of a fan-favorite BABYLON 5 character who DID NOT appear in the finished episode.
If you've ever longed for more than the thirteen produced episodes of CRUSADE, this material will take you on a guided tour of the latter half of season one, showing you what might have been. Unrealized storylines including Lieutenant Matheson face-to-face with Alfred Bester, Dureena's life in the Thieves' Guild and Earthforce Marines in an all-out battle with the Drakh.
Now that you've got the overview, let's get to the details:
In Peter David's introduction, you'll discover:
- Why the Mars police lieutenant was named "Carr."
- The reason he added Max Eilerson to the story when the character was not present in JMS's premise for the episode.
- How the Joan of Arc element found its way into the story.
- How a misremembered name from a Broadway musical led to the character called LeBecque.
- Which beloved BABYLON 5 character shared Max Eilerson's sense of humor.
- Why Peter David was disappointed with the portrayal of Joan of Arc in the finished episode.
- How budgetary restrictions threw a monkeywrench in the wheels...er...hover mechanism of a skimmer chase across the Martian surface.
- Why the bomb's countdown clock stopped at 018 (instead of James Bond's preferred 007 or the even more cliched 001), and how that tied into the theme of the episode.
- The story's original ending, which David changed when he remembered he was "writing CRUSADE, not TWILIGHT ZONE."
Richard Mueller's in-depth interview reveals:
- How a writer who'd had no involvement with BABYLON 5 came to write an episode of CRUSADE.
- What parameters JMS established for the writing of the critical episode in which Dureena was to have been kidnapped.
- What historical naval battle informed his CRUSADE story and why.
- Which character he had to rein in lest they become the star of his episode.
- Why his script for "War Story" exists, even though he was never given the official go-ahead to write it.
But that's not all—in addition to the four scripts, Peter David's introduction and the Richard Mueller interview, you'll get:
- JMS's handwritten notes for the episode that eventually became "Ruling From the Tomb," which featured "MIKE," A BRAND NEW CRUSADE CHARACTER who never made it to the screen.
- The premise JMS wrote for Peter David to work from in crafting "Ruling From the Tomb." In it, you'll learn how the cure to the Drakh plague would have been distributed once it was discovered, and why Dr. Chambers might have had a problem with the plan.
- The biography of IPX archaeologist Maximilian Eilerson written by actor David Allen Brooks, as well as a trio of poems (one R-rated) that he wrote from Max's point of view.
- A May 2011 interview with Dureena Nafeel actress Carrie Dobro, where she describes her feelings about the two new Dureena-centric scripts featured in this volume that she had never seen before. Find out how she felt when she revisited the character after a dozen years.
- An interview with Warner Bros. executive Gregg Maday, who served as the studio's liaison for both BABYLON 5 and CRUSADE, where he offers his perspective on what went wrong with CRUSADE and TNT mere days before the series finished its original run in 1999. (Yes, this is THAT Gregg Maday, seen lurking in the making-of documentaries on the BABYLON 5: LOST TALES DVD.)
- Three unused story ideas writer Richard Mueller pitched to JMS before landing the assignment to write "War Story." Discover the secret of the Durkonans—a species that never gets sick—in "A Fire in the Blood." Join Captain Gideon at a card game with potentially life-saving stakes in "House Odds." Finally, "Mixed Blessings" finds the EXCALBUR crew stranded in an asteroid belt where Galen makes a startling discovery. These stories were never meant to be, but they're here for you to see.
- A detailed synopsis of "The Walls of Hell" — an episode to be written by Larry DiTillio, the second part of a three-episode arc begun by Mueller in "War Story" and set to be concluded by JMS in an unwritten episode. Find out what happens when the Apocalypse Box possesses Lieutenant Matheson!
- And for fans of the EXCALIBUR's infrastructure, there are FOURTEEN drawings of the bullet car, including detailed schematics of the tunnels it uses to speed through the EXCALIBUR. See exactly how much thought went into the intricate workings of this people mover. Though viewers never got to see the ins and outs of the bullet car network, now you can.
- Continuing with detailed looks at Captain Gideon's starship, there are FIVE illustrations showcasing the EXCALIBUR's fighter bay and the fast-launch system that delivers Starfuries into battle. See how the fighters were stored and launched aboard the ship in drawings that back up well-imagined stories with realistic environments.
- From tech we move to makeup with THIRTY-TWO alien makeup concepts intended to appear in the background throughout CRUSADE's first season. Get an up-close look at the strange faces you might have glimpsed at the edge of the frame when Gideon and Dureena snuck into the Praxis Colony in "The Needs of Earth."
- There are even EIGHT concept drawings charting the evolution of Dureena Nafeel's makeup. You'll see everything from an eyebrow-less Human look all the way up to some Narn-inspired forehead spots...and EVERYTHING in between.
- From the character files, we have a brief document written to help Carrie Dobro understand the background of Dureena's nearly extinct species. How did they live? What did they use for weapons? Who or what did they worship? It's all in this anthropological account that likens the inhabitants of Zander Prime to several ancient cultures on Earth.
In this volume we've also included
THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO THE
SIX DIFFERENT WAYS TO WATCH CRUSADE
1) The original order JMS intended to use before TNT started giving notes. See how JMS intended the series to run.
2) JMS's revised watching order created to deal with the changes caused by TNT's notes. Think of this as the Great Maker's Plan B.
3) The sequence TNT used on CRUSADE's first airing because they had not produced episode fourteen. See the series as it was screened for the very first time.
4) The Sci Fi Channel ordering. For those fans who want to understand why their friends who first saw CRUSADE on Sci Fi got so confused, this sequencing will explain how the eccentric 2001 airing order came to be.
5) The EXCALIBUR Calendar's Chronological order (versus when they were written, filmed or aired), which makes sense of all the onscreen dates that appear in the series.
and for the first time ever...
6) The Ultimate Viewing Order, 2011. This sequence integrates the material in "Other Voices" Volumes 1 and 2 with EVERY PIECE of the CRUSADE storyline, from the finished episodes to unproduced scripts, outlines and notes. Following this combination of reading and viewing is the best equivalent to a complete first season CRUSADE experience.