Babylon Podcast #244: War Zone (Crusade)

Welcome to Show #244!

Walter Koenig at last has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! It’s about damned time.

Deep Geeking: Tim, Bret and Summer discuss “War Zone”, with Summer and Bret demonstrating amazing feats of recall, considering that they watched the wrong damned episode in preparation for this week’s discussion.

We talk about how the revised viewing order affects not only the timing of this episode, but also succeeded in confusing your hosts. How does an origin story work for an audience when they’re watching it 10 weeks into the story?

Tim has problems with long range video conversations not ending with the courtesy of a goodbye or farewell. I really don’t get why it’s such a big deal for him… what do you think?

Listener Feedback: Nan weighs in on the power of forgiveness and whether a stranger can help someone down that path; Gail is powering through the old podcast episodes to catch up, but wants to know if we ever talked about the old Green Room fan forums; Jim adds his observations on the potential for a Babylon 5 reboot, believing that the Star Wars prequels serve as an example as to why said reboot might be a bad idea for us. Star Wars tangent warning!

Lurker’s Guide 2.0: Summer is expanding the documentation to be covered at Lurker’s Guide 2.0, the major change being converting the episode guide into a full Wiki with cross-referenced topics, tidbits and everything you’d want in a Wiki. She’s also still searching for pictures of rare collectibles, photos of magazine covers and toys, and all sorts of other B5 goodies that didn’t get included in the original guide during the years after Crusade. Let her know if you want to lend a hand.

More Parody/Filk Songs Wanted: If you know of any more B5-related fan songs out there, definitely let us know, so we can let other B5 fans know where to buy them! And if those CDs are out of print, let’s brainstorm on ways to get those songs back out there for fans!

Babylon Podcast Social Communities:
Twitter: @babylonpodcast

Babylon 5 Information Gathering: If you know of a dead or abandoned B5 related website that may be in need of a new home, let Summer know! Maybe we can mirror it here or house it on a sister site.

If you can, Please Donate to the show!

Promo: Saturday B Movie Reel
Promo: Slice of SciFi


  1. This episode of the podcast closely mimics the Crusade series. It’s incoherent, and although it shows promise, it ends prematurely and abruptly.

    …love it.

  2. Because you had no idea the show might jump the rails early based on the obvious confusion from me and Bret that we’d prepped by watching the wrong damned episode for that week… right? It’s that surprise twist into incoherency you didn’t see coming that you love?

    Sheesh, I don’t think I’ve swung and missed that badly since we were doing season 2 ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Prequel bashing, really? Legend of the Rangers anyone?

  4. Joe, I actually kind of like Legend of the Rangers. Not the best B5 out there, and not one I revisit often… but I thought it was a solid entry that had excellent potential.

  5. I think it’s firmly on record where I stand with Legend of the Rangers ๐Ÿ™‚

    I was excited by the idea of Legend of the Rangers, the story that was promised to us. I think that’s why my disappointment with it is so bitter. The execution was average at best, and given what came before it, well, my expectations were higher than that.

    I don’t think I hate it, but it is the only bit of B5 that I do not own on DVD and have no plans to ever own.

    • My Dad liked Legend of the Rangers. He’s the only guy I know who did. For me, except for G’Kar and that Drazi character, I didn’t like a thing about it.

  6. A 90210 cast, name dropping characters they can’t afford to cast, insane technology that they should have never had, recycling the Shadow Ships and using the same tactic twice on this huge unbeatable enemy. Come on, that was all so contrite. Also, what is G’Kar doing in the Grey Council meeting. G’Kar was the only good part of this sad affair. I was never so bored out of my mind with a Babylon 5 project. I would take the prequels any day over The Gathering, Rive of Souls and Legend of the Rangers. I thought it was impossible to screw up a show about the Rangers then I saw this.

  7. Bill from Philly says

    One of the things I was really disappointed about (including the run through season 5) was how the drakh were portrayed. JMS strung us along with mystery of non-humanoid overlords running amok through the galaxy. Even though JMS admitted that the original introduction of the drakh was a cheap fix which he wasn’t a fan of – I thought it worked brilliantly to keep that inherent strangeness embedded within their character. By the time Crusade came along, I felt an English speaking, perfectly humanoid master enemy just harked back to everything I hate in Star Trek. I understand why they did it, but the drakh didn’t have that B5 feel. That seemed to take alot out of Crusade’s drive, for me atleast. B5’s most distinguishing characteristic in my view entailed the realist approach to plot development and the fact not all aliens had 2 legs, 2 arms, and a head standing just about the height of your average American male.

    • I think the whole thing with the Drakh that we saw at the end of S4 and in S5 wasn’t that they were overlords, they were trying to figure out how to be overlords because their own overlords left them behind like unwanted puppies. Thus the resentment, and of wanting to get revenge on the Minbari and on Earth, and to establish a new base of operations on Centauri Prime.

      I almost wish we had not encountered the Drakh in Crusade until S2, when they would start to get wind of how close the Excalibur was getting to finding a solution… not because they’d found “the” cure, but because some of the stuff they’d already found had together become a major clue, or a way to slow down the infection/transmission rate.

      There are downsides to that scenario, ones that risk turning every other episode into one with a “close call battle and escape” ending, which would have become rather tiresome after a while.

      Alas, we will never get to see how Crusade would have unfolded.

  8. I had little problem with the Drahk. I always viewed them as the dark side of the Humans and Minbari. They looked right to me if we go with the mirror perspective.The telepath speak was cool and they did look alien more so than say the Romulans or the Vulcans. So, them being humaniond see Crusade did make them generic enemy number one, but it did make to use them after A Call to Arms.

    The one thing that begged is why did they care about the Mars Underground? That seemed to be such a coup out instead of making Captain Jack just a straight up traitor. Oh no, he is a nice guy, its just the keeper making him do it. If they actually cared if Clark won or lost why not send ships or warriors to Earth during the final battle? That episode really sticks in my mind of using the Drahk badly. The only other thing with the Drahk that made no sense was the raids. Not that they didn’t do the raids, but Sheridan and Delenn in particular didn’t put two and two together to figure out they were to blame. Delenn knew from her first encounter with them they raided ships, so why all this who is doing the raiding when the easy and correct answer is the Drahk.

    • You have to remember that one of the Shadows’ methods was to be in a position to influence power.

      What better way to manipulate the younger races into overextending themselves in their wars than by making sure you’re the one controlling the moves on both sides? It also helps you later to have people already in place on whichever side when there’s a winner, especially when you really don’t care who wins, just that there’s a battle at all.

      We know Morden was whispering in Clark’s ear, but I’d have to believe that it would have taken too long to get someone new that close to the leaders of the Mars Underground, so putting a keeper on someone already close to them and manipulating that person would have been the next best thing. Plus, it lays a foundation for us to get used to seeing left behind Shadow operatives and Shadow tech, so there’s less to waste time on explaining when we get to the Drakh manipulating the fall of Centauri Prime.

  9. Gene from Greenville says

    another explanation for the Captain Jack/Keeper situation is that after the Shadow War there were a handful of Drahk working with the Clark Administration. the Shadows could have sent them to Earth as a teachers/allies or after the destruction of Zha’dum the Drahk may have offered to work for Clark’s administration , teach them about Shadow Tech in exchange for a new homeworld. a homeworld they would not have received after the Civil War was over.
    that would add fuel to the fire concerning their hatred of Sheridan and Delenn if the 1st 2 chances the Drahk got to find a new home were lost because of them.

  10. Finally got to this one today (4/21/12), having just started the podcast from #1 in May 2011. Like the wibbley-wobbley timey-wimey stuff of Babylon 4, I feel I have finally gone full circle, as my email got read in this episode. I may even be ready to do some call-ins, as my late-to-the-party irrelevance is finally shrinking.

    In regards to “The Green Room” from the old, Sandy Bruckner was a huge part of the group. Jeffrey (who has referred to the location as “The Station”) also would show up. I wish he were still around so I could tell him that we really did believe he was the guy in the suit (in a previous podcast he said we didn’t), but it was much more fun to hassle him & watch him bluster.

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