Crusade episode 10 - "The Memory of War"
you ever wondered why there are so many dead worlds
out there, let me tell you why - its because despite
the best advice of people who know what they are talking
about, other people insist on doing the most massively
stupid things" - Galen
Memory of War" is another good episode of Crusade, the
latest in a string of solid episodes. It is very enjoyable,
despite some weaknesses.
According to legend, there is an alien world where all
the inhabitants died off suddenly, one hundred years
ago. Could the population have been killed off by the
Drakh plague, and if so what valuable information could
be found there? Thanks to some new leads, the Excalibur
crew has finally found the planet, and they are going
to try and answer those questions. But why is Galen
so afraid of the place?
At the beginning, the plot starts out with what seems
to be a ghost story. Thankfully it quickly veers off
that path by providing an interesting explanation for
the deaths that I thought was quite ingenious. Nano-technology
is an interesting concept (well, more than that) that
wasn't touched upon much in Babylon 5, but thanks to
the Drakh plague (which is nano-tech related as far
as I understand), we will see much more of it in Crusade.
The fact that a technomage created the deadly weapon
further illustrates that their order isn't quite as
homogenous and innocent as we might have thought originally.
Presumably the divided nature of the technomages will
play a large part in the Crusade story. The temporary
nano-technology plague-screen that was used in "Patterns
of the Soul" is created here, and also explained much
better. (This may seem to be an inconsistency, but originally
"Patterns of the Soul" was supposed to be aired after
this episode) My only problem with the plot was the
anti-climactic resolution. The machine that was aware
didn't offer much resistance to Galen, since he pretty
much just walked down there and destroyed it. The final
confrontation with Dureena and Gideon was also confusing
and poorly edited. Exactly who was under the machine
influence, and to what degree? But the main purpose
of the plot was actually to further flesh out the background
information on the technomage order, and it certainly
did the well.
Gary Cole once again turns in a good performance as
Gideon, even if it isn't his best so far. David Allen
Brooks (as Max Eilerson) is also decent here. Marjean
Holden (as Dr. Chambers) gets more airtime, and she
is very good, this is her best episode yet.
Dureena's character (Carrie Dobro) is fleshed out quite
a bit in this episode, and does a good job. There is
certainly a growing relationship of some kind between
her and Galen. And speaking of Galen, Peter Woodward
is also quite good in this ultimately Galen-centric
story, and he effectively shows us that Galen has a
very human side. (as well as a cybernetic side) :-)
The production values in this episode were top-notch,
in my opinion. There was some excellent CGI, with nice
space shots, and a great alien cityscape that looked
even better than the one in "Racing the Night". (By
the way, did anyone notice that they re-used many buildings
from that episode) :-) The only effects that were a
bit lacking was Dureena's walk on the "force-field"
(especially when running back), and the fireball with
the technomage face (a little cheesy in my opinion).
Another wonderful aspect of this episode was the attention
to detail that was evident throughout the episode. The
planet was in a binary star system, and the crew actually
lit up the actors so that they had two shadows most
of the time. Both suns also seemed to have different
colors than our sun, and that was taken into account
when lighting the scenes, further added to the alien
atmosphere. It looks like the much-touted JPL scientific
advising was put to great use here, and hopefully we'll
see more of that. Regarding the music, unfortunately
Evan Chen did not do as well in this episode as he usually
Overall, I thought this episode was quite good, and
despite a somewhat lacking conclusion to the plot, the
great character interaction and production values made
this episode very enjoyable.
- Lars Joreteg (firstname.lastname@example.org)