Babylon 5 Books
We present six viewing orders for Crusade, along with an explanation of each one, as originally published (with minor updates) in the book Crusade: Other Voices, Volume 2.

Since its first airing in 1999, the proper viewing order for Crusade has been a subject of contention. In addition to the original TNT airing order (itself a bastardization of Babylonian Productions's intended order), there was also the Sci Fi Channel order used for the 2001 airing of the series and the chronological order established in Across Time and Space: The Chronologies of Babylon 5. With the publication of Crusade: What the Hell Happened? and Crusade: Other Voices, a wealth of new Crusade material has come to light, and none of these previously existing sequences is adequate to the task of organizing what now amounts to almost a season's worth of material into a cohesive whole.

Beyond these three published orders are two further hypothetical orders: Straczynski's original intent prior to the TNT-mandated changes to the series and a revision of that intent, retrofitted after the interference. These orders have been compiled from documentation produced at the time of Crusade's production and preserved in the series's paperwork archive. Taking each of these disparate orderings into account, I've endeavored to construct a dramatic and logical sequence that incorporates all extant Crusade episodes, scripts and outlines into a cohesive whole.

The first order represents J. Michael Straczynski's original intent, prior to the TNT-mandated changes that altered the show's trajectory after five episodes had been filmed. Aside from filming the original debut episode—"Racing the Night" (103)—out of sequence, Crusade's original intended airing order was virtually in synch with the order of production. This sequence is derived from paperwork dated prior to October 1998, and is titled "JMS's Original Order."

JMS's Original Order
1 Racing the Night (103)
2 The Needs of Earth (101)
3 The Memory of War (102)
4 Visitors From Down the Street (104)
5 Each Night I Dream of Home (105)
6 The Well of Forever (106)
7 The Path of Sorrows (109)
8 The Rules of the Game (112)
9 The Long Road (107)
10 Patterns of the Soul (110)

During Babylonian Productions's discussions with TNT, a number of changes were made to the series. From a story standpoint, the most significant of these was a new debut episode, designed to illustrate how the characters originally came together as the crew of the Excalibur. "Racing the Night" had begun the series in medias res, with Gideon and company already months into their mission to find a cure for the Drakh plague. "War Zone" (108), the new debut episode, would begin immediately after the events seen in A Call to Arms, with Gideon assuming command of the Excalibur and assembling his crew. From an aesthetic standpoint, it was also decided to change the uniforms worn by Gideon and Matheson as members of Earthforce. The gray and red ensembles worn throughout episodes 101 to 105 were replaced with black costumes that would appear in all the episodes filmed after the hiatus (106 onward). To make sense of this costume change, it was decided that the episodes featuring the gray and red uniforms would be sandwiched between newly produced episodes featuring the black uniforms.

Thus, Straczynski now intended Crusade to debut with "War Zone." Several black-uniform episodes would then follow. "Appearances and Other Deceits" (113) would transition to the gray/red uniforms. The five pre-hiatus episodes (101-105) would then air before the show transitioned back to the black uniforms with "To the Ends of the Earth" (114). Then, the series would continue with black-uniform episodes, including "Patterns of the Soul" (110), which referred back to "The Memory of War" (102), and "The Rules of the Game" (112), which developed the Gideon/Lochley relationship after "Ruling From the Tomb" (111) and "Each Night I Dream of Home" (105). This revised order is titled "JMS's Hiatus-Impacted Order," and was derived from documentation dated circa January 1999.

JMS's Hiatus-Impacted Order
1 War Zone (108)
2 The Long Road (107)
3 The Well of Forever (106)
4 Ruling From the Tomb (111)
5 The Path of Sorrows (109)
6 The Rules of the Game (112)
7 Appearances and Other Deceits (113)
8 Racing the Night (103)
9 The Memory of War (102)
10 The Needs of Earth (101)
11 Each Night I Dream of Home (105)
12 Visitors From Down the Street (104)
13 To the Ends of the Earth (114)
14 Patterns of the Soul (110)
15 Value Judgments (115)
16 Darkness of the Soul (117)
17 Tried and True (118)
18 Untitled (122)
19 War Story (119)
20 The Walls of Hell (121)
21 Untitled (120)
22 The End of the Line (116)

With the completion of thirteen episodes, TNT canceled the "back nine" of season one, and Babylonian Productions set about seeking a home for the series. The search for a new network home would fail, and the thirteen extant episodes would eventually air on TNT from June through September of 1999. Unfortunately, because "To the Ends of the Earth" had not been filmed, there was no episode featuring the transition back to the black uniforms, and the episodes were aired in a makeshift order that ignored some points of continuity by placing the five gray-uniform episodes at the end of the eight black-uniform episodes, which were originally intended to sandwich the first five. This improvised order is titled "1999 TNT Airing Order/DVD," and was used for the December 2004 DVD release of the series.

1999 TNT Airing Order/DVD
1 War Zone (108)
2 The Long Road (107)
3 The Well of Forever (106)
4 The Path of Sorrows (109)
5 Patterns of the Soul (110)
6 Ruling From the Tomb (111)
7 The Rules of the Game (112)
8 Appearances and Other Deceits (113)
9 Racing the Night (103)
10 The Memory of War (102)
11 The Needs of Earth (101)
12 Visitors From Down the Street (104)
13 Each Night I Dream of Home (105)

In 2001, Sci Fi purchased the rights to air Crusade and asked Straczynski to provide them with a "preferred author's order." Essentially choosing to ignore TNT's interference in the process, Straczynski disregarded the uniform changes and sequenced the episodes to begin with general stories to establish the scenario before moving into character-based stories. He placed "War Zone" and "Appearances and Other Deceits"—the two episodes that existed entirely due to TNT's meddling—at the end of the run, effectively outside continuity since both unarguably precede episodes placed earlier in the run. This sequence is titled "2001 Sci Fi Airing Order."

2001 Sci Fi Airing Order
1 Racing the Night (103)
2 The Needs of Earth (101)
3 The Memory of War (102)
4 The Long Road (107)
5 Visitors From Down the Street (104)
6 The Well of Forever (106)
7 Each Night I Dream of Home (105)
8 Patterns of the Soul (110)
9 The Path of Sorrows (109)
10 Ruling From the Tomb (111)
11 The Rules of the Game (112)
12 War Zone (108)
13 Appearances and Other Deceits (113)

Yet another sequence was created by the timeline featured in Across Time and Space: The Chronologies of Babylon 5. This order acknowledged the uniform changes and took its cue from onscreen details like the date on the banner at the Mars conference in "Ruling from the Tomb." As with each of the preceding orders, there are some compromises made to continuity—Matheson states that the crew have been wearing the gray uniforms "almost two months" on 4 September 2267 (in "To the Ends of the Earth") while "Visitors From Down the Street," which features those very uniforms, takes place on 13 May 2267, four months earlier. This order is titled the "Chronological Order."

Chronological Order
1 War Zone (108)
2 The Long Road (107)
3 Appearances and Other Deceits (113)
4 The Memory of War (102)
5 The Needs of Earth (101)
6 Racing the Night (103)
7 Visitors From Down the Street (104)
8 Each Night I Dream of Home (105)
9 The Path of Sorrows (109)
10 Ruling From the Tomb (111)
11 Patterns of the Soul (110)
12 The Well of Forever (106)
13 The Rules of the Game (112)
14 To the Ends of the Earth (114)
15 Value Judgments (115)
16 The End of the Line (116)

Now, with the publication of all the extant Crusade material, a new all-inclusive order, interpolating all the various episodes, scripts, outlines and notes into a cohesive whole, was needed to make sense of the series as it now stands. This new sequence is titled the "All-Inclusive Order." The editor's rationale for this order is presented after the table.

All-Inclusive Order
1 War Zone (108)
2 Ruling From the Tomb (111)
3 The Long Road (107)
4 The Path of Sorrows (109)
5 Appearances and Other Deceits (113)
6 Racing the Night (103)
7 The Needs of Earth (101)
8 The Memory of War (102)
9 Visitors From Down the Street (104)
10 Each Night I Dream of Home (105)
11 To the Ends of the Earth (114)
12 The Rules of the Game (112)
13 Patterns of the Soul (110)
14 The Well of Forever (106)
15 Value Judgments (115)
16 Darkness of the Soul (117)
17 Tried and True (118)
18 Untitled (122)
19 War Story (119)
20 The Walls of Hell (121)
21 Untitled (120)
22 The End of the Line (116)

The "All-Inclusive Order" begins, as it must, with "War Zone" (108), wherein the crew of the Excalibur assembles. "Ruling From the Tomb" (111), which features the first meeting of Gideon and Lochley, is placed second, which is consistent with the urgency of assembling a large conference and Gideon's assertion that if there was a saboteur aboard his ship, it would have been blown up "weeks ago." This also allows an exit for the character of Trace Miller, who appears only in this and the preceding episode. "The Long Road" (107) takes place approximately two months after the Drakh plague was released on Earth. "The Path of Sorrows" (109) is placed fourth in the sequence because it established the mystery of the Cerberus and that of the Apocalypse Box, both of which will become prominent in the following episodes. It also ends with Galen departing the Excalibur. "Appearances and Other Deceits" (113) comes fifth to transition the crew into the gray uniforms.

To do as little damage as possible to Straczynski's original intent, the next five episodes proceed in their originally intended sequence: "Racing the Night" (103), "The Needs of Earth" (101), "The Memory of War" (102) [which must precede "Patterns of the Soul" (110), due to the virus shield's creation], "Visitors From Down the Street" (104) [which must precede "The Well of Forever" (106) and Mr. Jones's accusation that Matheson has had unauthorized telepathic contact] and "Each Night I Dream of Home" (105) [which necessarily takes place after "Ruling From the Tomb" but before "The Rules of the Game" (112) to maintain the development of the Gideon/Lochley relationship].

The unfilmed "To the Ends of the Earth" (114) transitions back to the black uniforms and develops the Cerberus storyline set up in "Path" and alluded to in "The Needs of Earth." Once again, the story ends with Galen departing the Excalibur, providing a good opportunity to sequence the crew's much-needed shore leave at Babylon 5 in "The Rules of the Game." The added benefit of this placement is that Lorka 7 provides a promising destination for the Excalibur crew, which can then be undercut by General Thompson's orders to divert to Theta 49 in "Patterns of the Soul," where Dr. Chambers's virus shield gets its first test. Galen then returns to hijack the ship—possibly fulfilling the Apocalypse Box's warning to Gideon in "The Memory of War"—and lead the crew to "The Well of Forever." Once again, ideal contrast is provided by placing Matheson's trial by Mr. Jones—the successor to the Psi Corps—in "Well" immediately before his encounter with Bester—the last vestige of the Corps— in the unfilmed "Value Judgments" (115).

The rest of the season would proceed as Straczynski noted in his files: "Darkness of the Soul" (117)—possibly the story in which Galen would have discovered Gideon's Apocalypse Box; "Tried and True" (118)—in which Dureena was reunited with her mentor; an untitled Straczynski-written and directed episode (122)—a "surreal/unusual episode" wherein a "construction base [would be] found"; "War Story" (119)—wherein Dureena would have been kidnaped; "The Walls of Hell" (121)—in which Gideon and company would have searched for their missing comrade; an untitled Straczynski-written episode (120)—where Dureena would have returned boasting forbidden technology; "The End of the Line" (116)—the unproduced season-one finale; and "Little Bugs Have Lesser Bugs" (2XX)—the Peter Woodward-scripted season-two orphan that calls into question the resolution to year one's cliffhanger.

COMPLETE SITE MENU, CLICK HERE