25 March 2016

Crusade Review: War Zone & The Long Road

The new saga begins with the limited run of episodes that make up Crusade. The Interstellar Alliance's newest and coolest ship, the Excalibur is sent out to find a cure to the Drakh Plague before it wipes out all life on Earth with a new crew and new adventures ahead...

War Zone
Matthew Gideon and his crew arrive at Earth aboard their Explorer ship after the Drakh attack. The ship endures a minor mutiny before the jump and they are asked to report to Mars.

Meanwhile, an Earthforce destroyer has pursued a Drakh ship which was part of the attack fleet and forced it down at Ceti IV.

Gideon is given command of the Interstellar Alliance ship Excalibur with a new crew to explore the galaxy for a cure to the plague inflicted on Earth. He is told that he has 5 years before all life on Earth is wiped out. He meets Dr Sarah Chambers and Dureena on Mars, who go with him to the ship. He also insisted his previous first officer and telepath Lt Matheson, join them.

Their first mission is to head to Ceti IV. Upon arrival they find an IPX team at an archeological dig are near the Drakh crash site where the alien survivors have already proven hostile by shooting down one of the IPX shuttles.

Excalibur and her crew manage to arrive to rescue the expedition and locate a Drakh councilor who becomes a prisoner of war once they are able to take out a Drakh retrieval fleet. 

JMS has said that this episode was written at the request of the network and it re-covers events that we should already know from 'A Call to Arms'. While it's not a terrible episode by any means it certainly falls down to repeating itself and offering lots of talking and then lots of explosions in the climax. 

The new composer, Evan H. Chen makes his presence felt here - starting off well with the opening scenes but the music in the end battle still remains cringeworthy for me. 

Not a bad start, purely for the action. Looking forward to a bit more development in the characters though as we go along... 7/10.

The Long Road
An Earthforce operation that could provide leads for a cure is being disrupted by a rogue technomage  and his giant, golden dragon.

The Excalibur arrives at Regula IV to assist a mining operation that has had some trouble from the colonists and a technomage among them. Matthew and Gideon head down to the surface to investigate and meet the technomage, known to Galen and has sworn to protect the people in a small village near the mining operation. 

This episode is a bit of an extension from the main series episode 'The Geometry of Shadows', referencing Elric and the technomages leaving our galaxy. It also has some nice and light character moments for Gideon and Galen. It would be interesting to see how this episode would look with more modern effects.

While it is fun and a bit enjoyable, I've seen it enough times through to want a bit more so my rating is a 6.5/10.

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