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Warzone [Crusade Pilot]

OK. About two weeks ago, we finally decided to get Sky Digital. The fool that I am, I think that it'll probably get delivered in about a week or so, after all, Sky has been complaining that no-one wants Digital, etc etc. When I was informed that it'd be coming on August 11th, I was stunned. Not four, not five, but *six* episodes of Crusade would be missed. 'Absolootely intollerawable' as Londo would say.

Fortunately I managed to get a friend to tape Crusade. Even more fortunately, this friend knows the sacred secret of Editing Out Commercial Breaks Properly. Couldn't have edited them out better myself.

On with the review...

While my friend did edit out the breaks, he also edited out the first ten seconds. Not that I missed much, but I thought the FX of the plague descending on Earth left much to be desired. The obligatory fisticuffs at the start wasn't that bad, and I thought Gary Cole seemed pretty good. Music, alas, was still bad.

Opening credits were average. Basically, I thought the Q&A approach was absolutely pants. I have not seen anything worse for a long, long time, and the font was poo as well. *However*, the second half of the intro was great. Nice professional approach, and the music was quite good. I didn't like it at first, but after listening to it for roughly a dozen times it's definitely growing on me. I particularly liked the 'clickety-click' bits that introduce the main theme. A nice change.

I'd agree with Neil on the CGI - what's all the fuss about? [Lot of people on the Internet are saying that Crusade's CGI is rubbish] It's fine. Admittedly, there were some iffy moments, for example, when the Drakh ship was shot down, but that's excusable, especially when both battle scene CGIs were top notch.

The Drakh costumes seemed fine. I don't really see it as much of an issue anyway. What gives? They're only masks.

The scene with on Mars where Gideon was talking to the two men was pretty confusing, due to the fact that they looked identical. More confusing was when one of them said something on the lines of 'Gideon shouldn't have been chosen for this assignment' when he walks in, but it isn't followed up. A little silly.

The riot footage was typical American second-rate action series guff. I found myself making apologies to my friends throughout that entire scene.

The battle with Excalibur against the Drakh ships: Not bad. I would have liked to see the Excalibur take some damage, and a bit more footage of the Starfuries (they were there, in the background), but you can't complain. Seemed more like a scene showing 'We have ship that kicks ass, so there'. Anyway, I thought the Excalibur was made with Minbari tech as well. A single reference to that would have sufficed for me, but *no*, the Excalibur 'is the most advanced Earth spaceship ever built'. Shyeah, right, apart from the fact that you didn't actually know half of the tech inside it in the first place.

What was that music during the battle scene? It was cringe-worthy. Evan Chen should have been shot on the spot for composing that nonsense, especially when he's showed that he can do better a la the intro sequence music.

The end bit, where Gideon meets Galen, was far too slow, and far too cheesy. They could have at least tried to get rid of the dry ice smoke that was flowing down the hill. Anyway, exactly where *were* they meeting? On a park on Mars? What?

Thoughts: I remember watching the shot of the inside of a dome on Mars (the one where Gideon met the two Senators) and thinking 'Hmm, at least that looks pretty good.' The next day, I decided to watch a few Season 5 episodes. What did I see but *exactly* the same shot, but apparently the building was the Edgars Industries HQ this time. That is shocking. Surely they could have made some new CGI? OK, most people wouldn't notice, but that's just being lazy, reusing stuff from B5.

Drakh beam-handweapons were the proverbial canine's nads. Maybe they should have used them on the EA Destroyer - they would've done pretty well. Shame Galen, obvious deus ex machina that he is, had to kill all of them before they got to use it again.

Character Analysis

Gideon: Seems like the right man for the job. Interesting person, and I hear there's some great info about his past coming up in a few episodes.

Galen: I know that you'll all probably like this guy, but he annoys the hell out of me. Firstly, he can't speak properly. The Technomage in Geometry of Shadows (handily on the same day as War Zone on C4) could speak properly, and he was cool. Galen was simply irritating. He'd better start talking sense soon, although I still have hope as in the intro sequence, the bit where he gives the Deforrest Kelley lookalike the thumbs up boded well.

Max Eilerson: This guy couldn't be any cooler or unflappable if you spaced him. I have high hopes for this guy.

Dureena: Haven't really seen much of her. I'll withhold judgement for now. The only thing I can remember about her was that she was short.

Masterson: Damn right about the eyes, Neil [who commented that Masterson has scary eyes]. I'm Chinese, and I've never seen eyes like that before. Apparently he has some good scenes in upcoming episodes. Masterson wasn't given much chance to act in this episode, apart from the frankly scary bit during the battle sequence when the camera zooms in on his face, and he just glares, saying nothing.

Dr. Chambers: Boring.

Trace: Smarmy idiot who Must Die. Luckily, he doesn't get in on the intro sequence so I don't think we'll be seeing much of him (evil cackle).

Arc rating : Minus infinity. I haven't seen any other eps of Crusade, but we all know this ep was just a needless filler.

Episode rating : 6 (yes, that is what Neil gave this episode, but not as bad as a 5, but not as good as a 7).